Exercise 1.3

Drawing blind and from memory.

In this exercise, I had five minutes to fill the sheet as much as I could, repeating the drawing but while looking at the item and not at the page. This was an interesting experience in that it required me to pay attention to both the item and how the gestures of my hand *might* be rendering the shape. In a few of the drawings, the shape of scissors is somewhat discernible but not completely. I repeated this with nail trimmers and had a similar outcome. I’m pleased with my experience of both. 

In the portion of the exercise that demanded that I work solely from memory, I began very confident. I had made a point of observing elements of the scissors that I was concerned that I’d forget but that confidence quickly faded as the movements of my hand indicated that there were still many details I’d overlooked. While this illustration is much more obviously a pair of scissors than the blind illustrations, it is still imperfect but I’m learning to be ok with that. 

This wasn’t a very cumbersome exercise but it did create plenty of opportunity to rethink my approach to drawing. Much like with the right hand/ left hand exercise, this one opened my mind a bit further and allowed me to explore illustration in a way that led to some very interesting discoveries. Allowing my senses to communicate with one another is at the root of seeing an item and drawing it with any degree of success. 

In revisiting the assignments in Part One – Line, I am getting a lot out of revisiting each exercise and working through each one over again, applying the feedback from my tutor. In this revisiting of the work, I’ve chosen to draw my loose tea infusion ball. I was hoping it would be an easy shape to work with in drawing. I will expand on my observations below. 

This was a really great experience for me as it forced me to accept imperfections in the renderings. Most of the drawings do not resemble the object – the tea infusion ball but I can see how the shapes became what they did. What I enjoyed about creating these shapes was allowing my hand and pen to move around the paper in an attempt to produce shapes that resembled the object. I was prepared for them to NOT meet that goal but was relaxing into the experience of trying. What I found to be the greatest difficulty was when the pen had to leave the paper. In trying to draw the seam at the middle of the infuser or the drainage holes or the chain, my pen was lifted off the surface of the page and wherever it reconnected was seldom in the “right” spot. None the less, I committed to my pen placement and continued on with creating the drawings. This was a really rewarding exploration. 

This illustration was the memory drawing exercise. While the shape with all its details does much more closely resemble the actual object, it has its own imperfections. In a sense, the drawing was easier to make than others in this exercise because I could see where I was making marks on the page. What I found to be very challenging was the fact that I had difficulty creating symmetrical segments of the infuser and the placement of the drainage holes was not quite as they are on the actual object. It’s easier to see the differences in this drawing as mistakes than in the above drawing which the misplacement of marks is forgiven due to the blind nature of making the marks. 

In reflecting on the two previous exercises, I definitely had a preference. While I decidedly do not like working on A2 pages (the size intimidates and frustrates me), the blind drawing exercise was much more enjoyable. I think this is because there is no real expectation for the results of the exercise to be super accurate. Due to the blind nature of the drawing, it felt as though I had permission to make imperfect drawings which allowed me to be more present in the actual experience of drawing…without as much attachment to the final drawing and its accuracy.