More Charcoal Woes

My third semester has begun and once again I am dealing with one of my least favorite mediums, charcoal.  It’s so messy and difficult to erase, but it is a practical and traditional medium to study drawing and the technique of Chiaroscuro, which is an essential component for creating good quality artwork.  So I am doing my best to stay on friendly terms with the medium.  Or at least keep a positive attitude and not let worries about achieving high grades to keep me from enjoying the learning process.

Despite my stress concerning charcoal, I am starting to feel more comfortable with the online education process.  I know, now,  that I should expect each instructor to be slightly different in their expectations regardless of the schools attempts to make the process as standard as possible.  Knowing this helps.  Being flexible and having an open mind before each class begins is effective.

Charcoal drawing of four basic shapes with unforgiving construction lines showing through.

Charcoal drawing of four basic shapes with unforgiving construction lines showing through.

I have also discovered that my experience with online education may not be typical.  A brother-in-law has expressed his disappointment and dissatisfaction with the online classes that he has been expected to take.  He said that he was bored and found the topics poorly presented and he felt like he was wasting his time.  I have been lucky.  The school that I have been attending has excellent information and good presentation that works to make the student be involved.  I also feel that my skill levels as an artist have improved since taking the online classes.  This is something I greatly desire.  I want to be a better artist.

So my first fully graded assignment this term in charcoal has turned out to be less than what I would want it to be, but despite my feelings of failure concerning this charcoal mess, I have realized that what I was taught in the two previous courses have prepared me for the current requested work.  I was taught how to draw the basic shapes; spheres, cubes, cylinders, and cones in a hand sighting manner as well as using a ruler method.  We were also instructed in concepts of how to test our shading work to see if it really matched up to the still life setup.  These will all help me as I battle the charcoal medium in my present semester and attempt to learn how to successfully use the chiaroscuro technique.  Perhaps if my next set of drawings are better than this one, I will feel more confident about sharing them. Wish me luck.

G. Winkler ©2013

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Gretchen Winkler is a Writer, Artist, Radio Show Co-Host, Costume Designer, and ordered Knight. For the past 20 years she has authored several informational websites, started several technical companies, and has been an avid student of art, literature, history, technology.

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Posted in Art, Education

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