Pre-Instruction Lesson/Drawings:

You'll be doing 4 drawings: a head, a figure, your hand and a chair. In a few weeks, you'll be checking back on these drawings and you'll see the progress you're making.

materials: A pencil, typing paper, no need to use anything expensive. For some people using newsprint (something you can buy at any art store, and even many drug stores) actually makes it easier to get started: they're not as worried about "making a mistake" - (which you really can't do!) on a cheap piece of paper.

Time requirement: 15 to 20 minutes will be plenty for each drawing. (Note:You might want to spread this assignment over two or three evenings. Remember, just getting started is the important thing here. If all you have is just 15 minutes 3,4, or 5 days a week, you will make progress. And in time it will get easier and easier to devote more and more time. Don't set a standard for yourself that Leonardo DaVinci, or Picasso could never attain. Learning and maturing into a new skill takes leisure, not force. Start small.

Date your drawings. So when you look back you'll be pleasantly surprised - maybe even amazed at the steady progress you've been making. (Often times that's all the more assurance you need to keep on drawing.)

First Drawing. Draw the head - nothing else. Draw the anchorman on the CBS evening news, or on channel 5 or on your local news. Draw someone sitting at the park or napping on a park bench, or a family member on the couch. Avoid using a photograph.

Second Drawing. From memory, draw a human figure. Try to look at nothing else, no references - just allow whatever shape that comes out to come out.

Third Drawing. Draw your hand. Whichever hand you don't write with, draw it. (So you can look and draw at the same time...I know, seems pretty obvious. Lefties, draw your right hand, Righties, draw your left hand.)

Fourth Drawing. Drawing of a chair. From your living room, your kitchen, the porch pick a real chair and draw it. (Again avoid photographs.)

When you're done...Take a look at what you've done. If you want to crumple it up, that's fine - but please don't crumple it up or try to make it right. Write on the back that you think you picture is "OK" or that it "stinks" or that it's better than you thought it would turn out. If something you see in your drawing is pleasing to you, note that - write it on the back. If you don't like a certain part of it, note that too. Try to be specific as you can. Two or three months from now what you've written will be very interesting to you.

Now congratulate yourself, and take a little break - go do something fun.

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