Challenges,  Drawing,  Education,  Pencil

My assignment challenge

Finally I finished my 2nd assignment for the London Art College. In this assignment the subjects should be all tonal drawings. Actually it is for preparation to make the next step into watercolor, by understanding light and shadow, shape and details. It was a big challenge for me.

Maybe you are in the same situation and I want to share the lessons I learned during my assignment process.

Lesson 1: Preparation routine

In the beginning I knew what do do, but I struggled because I was working too slow. The reason was, that I never created a clear preparation routine in my drawing process. Actually this assignment was giving me a good lecture about that.

Professional artists have all their own preparation routine before they start with the original. And every artist is doing this individually – nobody have the same process.

The magic happens, when the preparation process is getting routine – this is the essential of making good artwork.

Making sketches of the difficult parts, texture studies and subject positioning by thumbnails is a very helpful preparation to get more and more into your subject and familiar with the difficulties of it.

This assignment really teaches me how to set up a routine in preparation process – it took me a while to figure it out, but after this, everything was going so much easier and faster.

Hydrangea / hortensia leaf in progress

Lesson 2: Keep your motivation

The next trouble was my motivation. Before I started the course I finished two times the Newcastle course, the last time with certification. The assignments there were all pencil drawings. Then I started at the London Art College and the first 2 assignments are just paper, pencil, eraser … monochrome…. again.

In the 2nd assignment I really felt, that I get tired of monochrome… I start to dream of colors. This gave my motivation a big barrier, cause I was so hungry for colors.

So I made myself a time schedule about my different steps and took these “drawing appointments” with myself very serious. I was able to go over my missing motivation and started to enjoy the process, also when it was hard in the beginning.

Lesson 3: Keep the patience

My first challenge was to keep my patience with the project. Actually I wanted to do something special and spectacular – at the same time I came to the conclusion, that an easier subject will do it much better. At the same time I want to finish as soon as possible – but the complexity of my work was smashing this possibility against the wall.

So I start to eat the frog and activated my Zen-mind. In the beginning it was very difficult, but with every step in my drawing progress I was able to enjoy it and kept the patience on the way to finish.

I realized, when I am patient enough, I can go better into my technical skills and get faster during this process.

Dahlia in progress

Lesson 4: Enjoy the process – trust yourself

Honestly speaking – in the beginning I felt overloaded a lot by the target. I was not able to enjoy it in any way, cause I gave myself a lot of stress. I want to do it good and I pushed myself very hard and unfriendly.

But during the drawing, I start to feel more relaxed, cause I found out, that I can do it – just with a trust into my skills and the knowledge, that this assignment is a learning thing and just the beginning of my artist journey.

Lesson 5: Work on your weak points

After this assignment, the next will start. I got a very helpful and good feedback from my tutor – and a clear picture about the things I have to work on more to make progress.

Light and shadow is really a thing of practice – also to set up a realistic looking object by tonal differences is really difficult. But I am very proud that I was able to make it and will continue my studies on the tonal mysteries.

Few weeks later I was able to see my weak points by myself very clearly. Actually my new mantra for each day will be: practice, practice, practice.

Dandelion leaf in progress

The summery of my experience

—— 6 Assignment Survival Tips ——-

  • Invest time into the observation process
  • Invest time into good preparation by making and using a working schedule
  • Invest money into good paper, pencils and eraser
  • Take breaks, but not too long – otherwise you will stop your progress
  • Focus on only one project to get the best result – don´t do multi-drawing on another piece, you will loose your way
  • After your are done: make a list – what can you do better next time? Note it – and work on it

You finished already an assignment or certification? How was your experience with this? Just let me know.

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