On Friday I attended an animal drawing class taught by artist Jamie Sweetman. The title of the class was "Drawing the Horses of Degas," but in actuality it was geared towards animals in general. In addition to the Edgar Degas horse sculptures that were at the museum, she brought in a lot of animal figurines.
Sculpture of a Horse by Edgar Degas
The first one I went for was a Degas horse. She recommended starting with a loose rendering of the entire form and then breaking it up into simple shapes, like spheres and cylinders. After that she suggested going into general details, followed by shading and putting in the core shadow. The core shadow is the darkest part of the object and helps to define the subject.
My Sketch of the Degas Horse
She compared the finishing details to the desert, with the prior steps being the main course. I didn't really get to finishing details with the horse. Degas didn't consider his sculptures to be finished, they were a way to see them better.
My First Sketch of the Polar Bear
The next animal I chose was a polar bear. This was my first sketch.
Jamie Sweetman Polar Bear Sketch One
The instructor decided to sketch the polar bear. She said it's important to stay loose for as long as you can. She decided the proportions in her sketch weren't quite were she wanted them, so she flipped the page and put the bear to the paper and did a loose sketch.
Jamie Sweetman Polar Bear Sketch Two
She refined it further. She said when she doesn't understand something, she draws it again and again. I love the bulk of her sketch, it really has the feel of a polar bear.
My Polar Bear Sketch Two
She said if you get too into it, stop and draw another one and that each time you draw you learn. I gave it another go, putting it down first for the proportions.
My Scorpion Sketch
After that, I decided to go for something a bit different. I decided to sketch a scorpion. She told the class that when laying it in, it's good to be always adjusting, also she said that you can chart the angles. She also said it was good to jump all over the place while sketching.
This is my second class with her and I'm looking forward to the third. To read about the first class, visit here.
Happy Mother's Day!
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