I consciously applied the learning from drawing small and approached this exercise with an open mind. The paper felt daunting to begin with but as soon as I started I felt more relaxed. The charcoal was unpredictable which I enjoyed as the ovals changed as the stick work down in ways I could not control. It felt more meditative, like I was using more of my body. My mind drifted to raindrops and English summer holidays, watching the rain run down the caravan window. I noticed afterwards at this point some of the ellipses had become raindrop shaped.
I had not considered the relationship between my perceptual and physical self prior to these exercises so I was curious to see what I learnt. Since rediscovering drawing early in 2016 I went straight back to using the pastels and soft blending I enjoyed so much as a child. However I am conscious of the risks of becoming dependent on working in just realism and so was keen to see if these exercises open up new styles of mark making and drawing to me. I have mainly focused on portraits this year (see example in the banner of this blog) so anything approaching conceptual is a new area for me.
When drawing small my fingers seemed to do most of the work and I only moved my hand when necessary. I got bored quickly and began varying between clockwise and anticlockwise ovals. Anticlockwise felt less comfortable and as I was a little bored kept drifting towards drawing circles. My hand and upper arm were tired by the end of the first sheet and I decided to adjust my chair as I had only recently set up a place to draw regularly.
When I swapped to my weaker hand I was inaccurate which I found frustrating. I am naturally relatively impatient and this is something I will have to be mindful of during this course. I decided to loosen my lines and I felt instantly more at ease. My lines seemed more expressive. I continued this looser style when I returned to my good hand and noticed this meant using my whole arm. The ovals were larger but more pleasing.
I was skeptical I would learn from this exercise but it was very useful. If I were to do it again I would embrace ‘the unknown’ and going with the flow of the exercise to see what happens more, slow down and try to enjoy the unexpected.