In art class, we have just finished a unit on line drawing called “Make Your Mark”. The unit question was “How can we communicate visually?” and the significant concepts were “What are the big ideas?” and “What do we want our students to retain for years into the future?”. We started by copying some line drawings by artists such as Van Gogh, then we practiced different line techniques to use in our final drawings. When we started working on them, the first thing we did was take a few pictures and put them together in different ways, experimenting with the layout and placement of everything until we found something we were pleased with.
I think that my first line drawings were not bad, but I didn’t really understand the fact that you use different line techniques, and it isn’t good to outline things completely. When I was originally drawing I was literally looking at one part and trying to duplicate it perfectly, and that can be harder than just taking the basic idea and trying to use a similar technique. I think that practicing the line techniques separately really helped me to improve the skills that I had and learn many new ones. By the time I got to my final drawing, I had a much greater understanding of how to portray different tones and textures, especially when using the techniques of scumble and stipple. I also think that the texture of my shed looked better than I imagined when I looked back at it.
I think one of the things that really helped me improve was my confidence in the drawing. At first I was really afraid that I would mess up everything, which made it harder to finish anything. This is why I didn’t get even close to finishing my practice drawings. I do admit that the first time I put the marker down on the page of the final drawing I still had that terrified feeling, but once I got used to it and knew what I was doing, there was so much more space for my own creativity to come in. I think that one of the things I did best in my line drawing was the mountains behind the shed; I did a good job of showing the light source. I also think that I drew the tree on the left quite well, but it was a very challenging thing to draw, as there were little opportunities to use tone.
Obviously I still feel that there are many areas for improvement in my drawing. I think that my drawing is too dark in some places, for example when the grass on the left below the mountains nearly blends in with the tree and in a way, ruins the effect. I feel like the grass is almost a bit too mechanical as well, in quite straight lines following the exact same pattern over and over. I also feel like the technique in the sky is good, but I didn’t draw carefully enough and was a bit careless, because the lines get very crooked and the spaces between quickly change from being too small to too big. Instead of this I should have taken more time to check back on the proportions. I also think I could have improved on different aspects of the stairs, because the line technique of the wood changes after a few steps. Also, the proportions of the stairs get a bit strange towards the middle, with some of them being longer than the ones at the front, which contradicts the composition of my drawing.
Overall, I am quite proud of myself, even with all the areas I could have improved in. Considering that this was the first real line drawing I’ve done, I think that I did a good job. No matter what your skills are, everyone can create something so simple and still wonderful. In my opinion, the most amazing thing about this is how much one person can do with a simple black marker.