I think one of the things that really frustrated me throughout the past couple of years is that I had never found a work technique/method that clicked with me. Even though I felt that I had this killer ambition to draw, I could never grasp why I was struggling so damn much just to get an idea down on paper with stuff like figure drawing (especially when I was already practicing it fairly often). I believe in part it had to do not just with training my hand/eye coordination, but also that I was approaching drawing in a manner that doesn't work for me... but I believe now I know why.
I needed to realize that when I draw, I am projecting my understanding of the subject down onto paper. Drawing is an incredible mental activity that my mind needs to mellow into, so whenever I would try to draw for a really limited amount of time under pressure (e.g. on a break at work, a really short train ride, etc), it would be increasingly frustrating - not just because I would get cut off right when I'm in the process of reaching my creative groove, but also because I would leave with yet another an ugly drawing.
In addition, I learned that I cannot learn anatomy by just figure drawing; I needed (and still need) to study bones & muscles and study them enough so that I will have an intellectualized idea of their shape and placement when I go figure drawing. Long story short: figure drawing should be a test of my knowledge of the human body since the model's interior will be invisible to me (at least without those intellectualized ideas)
|Studying the sacrum 3-dimensionally... these drawings are actually from a very unique approach that I want to elaborate on a separate post later on....|
|Result of the implementation of very basic ideas in the heat of figure drawing|
By applying all of the above, drawing has become not just a lot more enjoyable, but also a lot more natural than it has been before. As a result, I feel myself becoming a lot more satisfied with what I've been sketching out. Then again, I feel like there's too much content-ness going on here, and I've been more and more hesitant to draw in my sketchbooks for fear that might I fuck up one of the best drawing streaks I've had, since... maybe ever. In addition, I'm also going to apply to CalArts where turning in a sketchbook is part of the application, so I have this really bad habit of trying to make my sketchbook drawings look perfect. I keep forgetting sketchbooks are our domains to fuck up...
Aaand I just want to leave with one more thought. I've still been reading Walt Stanchfield's Drawn to Life and I really love the analogy of comparing the rhythm in playing music to drawing. When playing music, you have to think of a few notes ahead of ones you are already playing. If you focus on each individual note as you are playing them, your rhythm will become jarred. I usually keep this in mind when I go figure/gesture drawing by not trying to perfect the shape of something (e.g. the head - I just try to get down an idea of it's shape and position and how it correlates to the rest of the body in terms of movement and basic connectivity).