Having the fascination that one day I might draw manga to tell my own story like Naoko Takagi, I tried many classes in the New York City to learn drawing. It was only when I started my journey of art did I realize that New York is the center of art in the world. From oil painting to water color to drawing, masters are everywhere. The only exception is manga, which, even though super popular in Asia, doesn’t receive much attention in the US. Disappointed at first, I was pushed to try different types of arts. I have taken oil painting classes from two places, water color class from one place, and drawing classes from three places, ranging from classes highly recommended on yelp to classes that hardly searchable, from step-by-step guided class to almost do-it-yourself class. I am still a beginner. But I find that I can appreciate arts better now. And I believe it will be valuable to write down my experiences with all these classes, for readers who have similar interests and for my memorization.
Drawing down in 5 minutes
I will talk about other classes in other articles, but I can’t wait to write down my feeling of the drawing class today at Spring Studio (http://www.springstudiosoho.com/). I was amazed by the process. It was composed of twenty 1 minute poses, five 2 minute poses, four 5 minute poses, two 10 minute poses, five 2 minute poses again, four 5 minute poses again, one 10 minute poses and one 20 minute poses. (Number of poses are not accurate, I can’t remember the number exactly. ) I could hardly draw anything at the beginning. But soon I found that the short time pushed me to focus on the essence rather than the details.
The teacher didn’t give too much instruction. It seemed most people there know what they were doing. But since I was a beginner she did show me the skills. I was amazed how she drew in flows and circles. She wrote three points for my note:
1. up and down (the flow);
2. contour cross? (I can’t read my note exactly now. It just means horizontal circles as opposed to the first);
3. out line (the details).
I didn’t get what it meant at first. But soon I found that even though I was just trying to mimic her smooth movement made my drawing better. Because each pose was short, I drew a lot in a short time. And then I started to get it. The tips can be translated as the following:
1. proportion and direction
2. circles building up shape and muscle
3. out line
At first I didn’t know how to do the circles, but after trying for so many poses I unconsciously followed the lines of muscle, even though I didn’t see the muscle. The keep is to keep my hand moving. Without thinking too much I found that my drawing looked more professional than before.
It is fascinating that I can learn it that fast. In the other two drawing classes I didn’t get much even though teachers gave me lots of instructions. I have a nature that give to much attention to details. And the time limit and the flows and circles break my routine and make my drawing more smooth.
The whole class took 3.5 hours, but I almost didn’t feel the time passed. I also like the flexibility of this class, as I can drop in without reservation.