Drawing and Sketching

16/8/12 – Work in Progress: Using the skull as a way to Improve my own Drawing Skills? 

Over the past few months I have been sketching the image of the skull in my visual diary and my note book. At the start of the year I wasn’t able to draw anything at all now I have the skull ingrained into my mind. When I sketch I am now able to create the shape of the skull from memory, which is something I haven’t been able to do before.

Drawing is not my area of expertise although I have been practising different styles, patterns and designs over the past year or so. Below is a list of images that I have been currently working on, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to use some of them for my photographic work.

April 20th – I remember drawing on the train with my boyfriend who was teaching me how to draw a skull. I had just used a notepad that I had received from a conference that day and for some reason I wasn’t able to draw the mouth of the skull. I then realised that I was supposed to draw inwards in order to create the jawline. I was always drawing the jawline outwards and I was always wondering why my skulls were out of proportion.

July 3rd – For some reason I like to draw on the train because it takes an hour to get to the city and the trains are incredibly slow. The skulls are still out of proportion and the jawline still needs adjusting. At this particular stage I still wasn’t too sure how to draw the shape of the skull although my second attempt was an improvement.

August 9th – Last week I found a box of Copic markers in my Boyfriend’s cupboard and I was impressed with the quality. I decided to draw a black and white Mexican skull with the Copic markers, which provided some interesting tones around the nose and the jawline. This drawing is a huge improvement from the last few sketches and I was actually pleased with the results.

The black and white skull also relates to the title of my research project, “Black Calavera”, the english word for “black” is merged with the Spanish word for skull, which is also known as “Calavera”. I have decided to use black and white for all of my skulls and the the drawings could be used for a body of work. The Mexican skull is the best drawing i have produced so far, although one eye socket is larger than the other.

For some reason I don’t like to draw with pencils, I find them restrictive and when I am using a pen I tend to make less mistakes. With a pencil you can keep redrawing the same shape continuously although with a pen you only have one chance to creates something that your happy with. This statement is always stored into the back of my mind and once i begin to pick up the pen, for some reason it seems to work. Of course I have ruined a few drawings although I keep redrawing the same image with the pen until I have achieved something that I’m happy with.

August 10th – Last weekend I went to a birthday party and there was a large table in the middle of the hall full of pens, pencils and paper. I wasn’t expecting there to be arts and craft at the party although I had enjoyed drawing or sketching in the afternoon. There sheets of black paper and I decided to draw a Mexican skull using a gold pen. The eye sockets actually remind me of old sovereign coins and the rendering created an interesting composition. Again there is one eye socket that is larger than the other but hopefully I will fix this particular issue in my next drawings.

August 15th – Last wednesday on the train ride home from Melbourne I decided to draw another Mexican skull. I was pretty tired and it was pretty late when I had caught the train, although I was quite bored so I decided to create a quick sketch. I do intend to continue with the sketching in order to develop further ideas for the project and the work in progress has provided an excellent opportunity to improve my drawing skills. I still have a long way to go, although I do remember the advice I had received when I was a child, “practise makes perfect”. Stay tuned for further updates!


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