Today’s exercise was in two parts. And I found, to start with, that I’m hopeless at symmetry, even if I’m really trying. I knew that, of course but I know it again.
The second exercise was drawing upside-down. That is, copying a picture that’s upside down; in this case Picasso’s drawing of Igor Stravinsky. It’ll take about 40 minutes, the tutor advised.
It was certainly hard and my concentration flagged by the end – or perhaps it was the left side of my brain clamouring for attention, because I got bored before I finished. I didn’t find it hard to concentrate and focus, but had to push myself to keep going, I really wanted to dash off the last part quickly. Since this was an upside-down face, which was really difficult to do, I couldn’t. Thing is, you know what a face looks like, even the wrong way up, so you know you’re not doing it very well. I was quite gratified by the rest, though and even the head was better than I expected it to be.
So, here we go.
The well known optical illusion of a vase or a pair of profiles. I tried it twice and did a lot of rubbing out and trying again of the right-hand side. I wasn’t unhappy with the left one, the first one I did – it wasn’t good but nor was it awful. But if I looked at the picture and copied it, it didn’t match the first side and if I tried to copy my own drawing in reverse, it was quite confusing because I was going out when I was looking at in. Still, never mind.
As for the Stravinsky, I had to overcome the temptation to draw the spectacle lenses the same size. The hardest part was keeping everything in alignment. I started with the top – that is, the bottom of the picture – and worked back and forth, trying to manage proportions. I note that the tie was better than I expected – very tricky – but I haven’t really managed the collar at all. He’s rather a chinless wonder and the upper lip and the moustache are all one. But I did try really hard and was tired and headachy by the time I’d finished.
The twist is a literal one, of course; twisting upside-down.