Tag Archives: studying art

Thoughts on making time

Life has got in the way of assignment 3 and I’m frustrated with myself for letting this happen as there really is no one else I can blame other than me. So what went wrong?

In the run up to a 2 week holiday I got very busy at work so was coming home too tired to draw. This is the reality of a 3 hour commute and a demanding City job. What I should have done is try to carve out some sketching time on the train each morning when I was fresh but I’m still having a hard time of being self conscious when it comes to drawing from life on the train and I’m loathe to rely on drawing from photos as I know this engenders bad habits. I ought to focus on studies as I have plenty of books. So that’s strike one.

Strike two is assuming I could make up the sketching time on holiday. Two days before I was due to fly, a movie director friend asked me to review a script for a film that’s going Cannes shortly too, so bang went most of the 11 hour flight to California. Horrible jet lag for the first few days knocked out what was supposed to be the lazy bit of the holiday. I was then stunt training over 6 hours a day for nearly 8 days with the incredible Hollywood actor and stunt man Anthony De Longis so was shattered most of the time I wasn’t training. I did manage to do some figure studies whilst he was teaching my husband sword fighting which I enjoyed tremendously.

Strike three is not appreciating just how bad the jet lag would be from west coast USA which took a solid week to recover from. Cue a frantic weekend of doing coursework and catching up on sketching and a penitent letter to my tutor to ask for an extension, which is not how I wanted it to be.

My first lesson learnt is that little and often is the key to a happy sketch book. If I’d found a way, anyway, to eek out even ten minutes every day, my sketch book would be much fuller by now. My second lesson is not to assume I can sketch for relaxation when I’m learning another subject intensively. I thought before and after my stunt training it would be a way to kick back but by then my brain wanted to process what I’d learnt and rest.

My final lesson is chunking up my coursework into much smaller units. My second exercise to draw organic items ended up being rushed and I may do it again because I tried to do it all in one day. The postgraduate diploma I completed last year for my job last year involved academic research and I could comfortably get through large chunks in one sitting at the weekend. That just doesn’t seem to work when planning and preparing sketches for an exercise. I need to step away sometimes and come back with fresh eyes, or go away and do a bit of reading and look at other artists to get some inspiration before trying again.

For the above reasons I thank the heavens I decided to do this Foundation course before diving feet first into a drawing degree. These are not mistakes I would have wanted to make where it could compromise my final mark.