An Insider Look at my Progress in Art Workshop

I am committing my time to a biweekly art workshop delivered by Kenneth Cobb . This post will document my progress and impressions over the weeks I will be attending the class.

Day One


We spoke about types of pencils and what lighter/bolder pencils to use, when and how. Generally H pencils are lighter and B are bolder. I built confidence quickly when I found out the ways to use the pencils.

Free Sketching, Imperfection vs. Perfection

One striking thing was our instructor’s refusal to give us erasers. He asked to get comfortable with messy lines and lose our need for perfection. Other things we discussed were pencil to paper techniques, using thicker bolder lines for areas we want to embolden and lighter pencil strokes for areas we want less dominant.

Gesture Drawing / Composition

An example of Gesture Drawing – Google

Composing a sketch we were told is simply creating the frame or outline that would eventually be what you are looking at. We also looked at a few pictures of gesture drawings which I found very interesting.

Reflections after the Lesson

I heard a lady say she knows she will never be an artist but then it feels good to be a part of the class. I thought this comment was somehow self deprecating. It made me think about my general attitude to the class. Was I driving two hours every other Saturday and spending six hours of my time every month ( ten hours a month in total ) just to do something or was I actually going to make the time worth my while?

Self Sketch

Day Two – Tonal Value

I found out that shading and giving an image a shadow adds some reality or depth to the image. I started out shading mindlessly but then later developed some confidence and begun shading with a more purposeful approach. I shaded in the same direction outside the image for some reason but then my instructor told me to be careful not to mirror the shading in the drawing with the shading outside the image but be conscious of the direction of shaded areas; that made so much sense ( I wonder how I did not realize that in the first place ) because then there would be no difference between the background and the image.

Tonal Value Samples I drew

Reflections after the Workshop

The second day went by so fast. The first day I stood on my feet for three hours drawing was such a pain mainly because time did not move at all. I honestly feel like I am not as tense as I was or as clueless as I was. I am more purposeful in my strokes to the paper and have a good idea of what I want to achieve. To me drawing is a knowledge of techniques that influence the outcome of work.

Tonal Value Image

Published by Efua R. Armstrong

Efua is from Ghana and is interested in society and culture as well as conversations on gender and sexuality. While sitting through a speech by a professor at Kenyon College, I agreed with the idea that the limitations of the human mind aren't necessarily burdens but gifts! I couldn't agree more! I am curious and love to process and reexamine information. I also have absolutely no restraints in admitting that I don't have all the answers or that I am still thinking about something! Go ahead and leave me a message!

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