I have a vague recollection of posting some of these works before but I don't have time to search the post archive so if these are familiar, please forgive the repetition.
These pieces were completed in my Beginning Drawing class back in 2000 when I was starting my Studio Art degree. Originally, I entered college as an oceanography major and I had taken several scientific illustration courses before I changed my major to art. It just so happened that my illustration professor was also my drawing teacher. Although I was given the option to waive the beginning drawing requirement due to my work in representational drawing, I opted to fulfill the drawing component of the degree simply because this professor was brilliant.
Looking back, I realize now that this drawing class must have been extremely frustrating for some students. There were no demonstrations and the lectures were terse at best. My professor, Mr. Anderson, believed that the best way to learn drawing was simply to put in the work. To that end, he was an incredible taskmaster when it came to drawing practice; the class met twice a week, three hours per class, and save for two ten-minute breaks, we were expected to keep our butts in our seats and draw with exacting precision. Ancient, grizzled, and solemn Mr. Anderson missed nothing. He knew exactly who took an inexplicable thirty minute break every hour and who stuck to their work. (Of course, that information was usually pretty obvious during the critique.) When our drawings were finished, we'd earn a letter grade scrawled in the corner of our paper and a few words on how the drawing could be improved. Otherwise, our instruction was the process itself, repeated over and over and over...
I remember dreading drawing rocks and sticks but bone drawing sent me over the edge. So much of the detail on bones is created by contrasts in shadow rather than hard lines and it was so difficult to get that sense of depth correct. This skull drawing was the height of my bone drawing assignments and in the end, I was thrilled that this turned out as good as it did. In fact, I remember moaning and groaning over almost all of the assignments but also being constantly surprised at the final results. For whatever reason, Mr. Anderson's teaching style worked for me.
While I hated drawing bones (and shells for that matter,) I loved drawing inorganic objects with a variety of surfaces. We practiced rendering crumpled paper, reflective metal, and glass. I remember very clearly the day the paper bag drawing was assigned; the class nearly rioted. "Whaaat?! Do all that shading? That's impossible!" I guess that's one of the most important things I learned in Mr. Anderson's classes: things might seem impossible but devote the time, and you could conquer even the toughest assignment.
AND...on an unrelated note...there has been some confused and even seemingly angry (!?) backlash over my announcement that I can now be found on Instagram. My inbox was inundated with anxiety and questions...even lost a follower...although that could be for some other, unknown reason. I thought I was clear in my previous post but in case you are one of those worrying over this issue, let me clarify: THIS HERE BLOG ISN'T GOING ANYWHERE. I didn't drape the blog in black silk and play "Taps." (Admittedly, today's post is pretty monochromatic but I swear that's pure coincidence.)
I completely understand the fear of new technology; I'm still in love with typewriters and phones with the long, curly cords attached to the kitchen wall. I'm sure I'm one of the last people on the planet without a cell phone; I'm managing my foray onto Instagram via an old Samsung media player. So everyone just relax! At Instagram, all I'm doing is snapping an often poorly-lit photo with my crappy, stone-age camera and adding a poorly-typed caption. (Curse you, tiny keyboard!) I know the art blog scene is shrinking by the minute but Lost Coast Post will remain here in all its long form glory as long as I feel compelled to maintain it. I am deeply honored by your passion for this space. Please...take a deep breath and keep reading.