Wax Resist Drawing Workshop

Last Monday I did something a bit different with the lovely ladies who go to The Beetroot Tree Gallery each Monday for the ‘Try-Its’ workshop. Normally I do jewellery and mixed media based workshops but this time I did a drawing one, using wax resist.
I will let you into a secret, despite my Fine Art degree I have never been the best drawer. But at college I told my tutor this and they suggested I draw the way I paint, buy using shapes, form and tone. I realised, I don’t see the world as being made up of lines, but as shapes. By putting down the pencils and using chunky charcoal and graphite sticks I found drawing much easier! The basis for the workshop was this piece I did at college, which used a candle to put in the highlights before applying a wash of ink.

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My original drawing from 2001

I wanted to do something similar, but I knew they would find it challenging to draw this way, so I started with some speed drawing and blind drawing exercises to get them to really look at an object and not just draw a generic version. Our brain always wants to help us out by saying ‘hey, you know what a coffee mug looks like, you don’t need to look at this one to draw it!’. But that wouldn’t be an accurate image of the particular coffee mug, right here now, in this light and from this angle. And to me, that’s what drawing is about; detailed looking rather than detailed reproduction.

While I think they were unsure of what we were doing to begin with, I think most people went away having learnt a new way of drawing and with a piece they were proud of. And so did I.

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My final drawing from the workshop

* A lot of the techniques and exercises I used came from the following books, which I would recommend to anyone who wants to learn to see and draw.

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