Art: Making a Start

I have decided to go for an Art GCSE. This is a qualification normally taken by fifteen and sixteen year olds at the end of their secondary education. I work in a secondary school and spend a lot of time in the Art department, and as I dropped the subject at the age of fourteen, I thought it might be a worthwhile challenge for me.

I’m a fairly creative person, but that creativity has mainly been channelled into textiles or fashion. I have never drawn; in fact I’ve avoided it like the plague. So the decision to do this art project has been quite a scary one for me. I rarely challenge myself, so I thought it might be good for me personally, but also in a professional development capacity.

Anyway, I have chosen two topics to work on; one is “Landscape” the other is “Pattern and Decoration”. The latter I feel is in my comfort zone, the former not at all, but I think it could be interesting. As well as these, I thought I should do some random sketching of objects/still life/portraits, and then I will have to do a controlled assessment along with the pupils at school some time next year.

So, this evening I picked up my new sketchbook and pencils and did two portraits. This is the first time I have drawn a face since I was about twelve years old. My first attempt (Philipp Jelenski) was a little problematic. I started with the general shape of the head then added the features. The face ended up too wide and the ear too small, but I was reasonably content.

The next study (Alex Gilbert) was much better. I started with the eyes, then added the nose and mouth before I drew the outline of the face and ear. I think it was much more successful, but the irises are not perfect. It’s a start.

My next step is to plan out a face map with correct placement and dimensions, and hopefully my drawings will improve.


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