As mentioned in the previous post Trying to Find Some Perspective, I have chosen to take a break from working through an exercise that was causing me great strife and temporarily put my energy in a different direction. (A brief detour, if you will.) The new exercise, also from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, instructs the student to study and copy Charles White’s drawing, “Preacher.”

This drawing is a clear demonstration of a foreshortened view and once again highlights how what the artist sees may contradict what we know of the physical world. For example, in the drawing (and as it would appear on the imaginary picture plane) the man’s hand is larger than his head; obviously in reality this wouldn’t be the case. However, it is because of these unexpected proportions that the drawing maintains its realistic appearance.

“Preacher” by Charles White

My Copy of “Preacher” by Charles White

I was a bit at a loss as to how to mimic the artist’s masterful shading but I gave it my best shot. (I will greatly welcome the lesson on shading techniques, which I believe is a couple of chapters down the road.) Interestingly, by trying to copy the shading, I became even more aware of the exquisite details of the drawing, particularly the depiction of light, and experienced a whole extra level of appreciation for White’s creation.

This reminded me of my English degree undergrad years when I would read a required work for a course. Often I would initially appreciate what I had I read but it was only after studying the work that deeper meaning and understanding would emerge. Along with this understanding came respect, excitement and a true appreciation for the writer’s craft.

I have had little experience studying Visual Art, but I imagine it could be a similar experience and one that I hope I can open my world to as I continue on my path of learning to draw and learning to live.