Okay, first off - a disclaimer: I feel a little weird about this post. But, I did tell a couple people that I would put some of my artwork from class on my blog, and here it is... (and it's only taken me 5 months now to do it.)
So this last Spring I took my second drawing class... this time it was Figure Drawing. (The year before I took Drawing I). I am always intimidated and insecure to be taking these classes... especially since I'm taking them with almost all art majors. But it has been so good for me.
The thing I've learned most of all is that drawing is a lot of work! I really am starting to believe that anyone can learn to draw. It's just that most of us get frustrated and stop trying somewhere around middle school. Some people have a more natural talent for "seeing" how to convert a 3-D object onto a flat piece of paper... but that does not mean that the rest of us can't draw, it just means we have to work a little harder to be able to "see" too. The book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain talks about this and has wonderful exercises to do to teach yourself how to draw.
Back to Figure Drawing though... Each class night we had a model. We would start out with the model posing for only 2-5 minutes and we had to capture the pose within that time. They called this "gesture drawing." Then we would work up to longer poses... sometimes having up to 15 minutes per pose. I definitely improved a lot over the course of the semester... I didn't upload any of my worst earliest drawings... I should have. Sorry, I've put them all away now (convenient, huh?). But here are some of my better drawings from the class periods:
Anyway, I guess the big lesson that I've learned from taking these classes is that I need to press on and just do it... even when I feel afraid, intimidated, and uncomfortable. If I had let my fear of what other people would think of my poor drawing skills stop me from taking these classes, then I never would have improved. I feel like so often I let my fear stop me from doing the things I need to or want to do.