Last summer I took two art classes; an encaustics and a portrait class.
Encaustics is about painting with liquid wax. It was a technique new to me (and probably many of my readers). I had a lot of fun in this class. I looked at some books about the art form before the class and most of them were on the abstract side. I had a lot of fun in this class. I had fun just trying out the techniques. This is a very versatile medium. I was sad when the class was over, and I really want to do another class this summer. The teacher was also nice and encouraged us to try new things.
My experience with portraiture was very different. I missed the 1st class (of 2) because I had to go to a funeral. I'm not sure what they all did in that class, but the teacher told me she would be sure to help me and gave me some reference pictures. We started with some sketching then we went on to the live model. In this class there was a girl from my school and two other girls my age. When ever you and another person are drawing the same thing, do yourself a favour and never look at their sketchbook. Maybe you can look at it when you have finished, but never in progress. I made this mistake. Their drawing were amazing. It was a given the older (and presumably more experienced artists) would be good, but the girls my age were so much better than me. I felt disillusioned. Occasionally the teacher came over to help me, but I didn't think she was that helpful. I still have the two drawings I made that day, but I don't want to upload them because I fell like they don't reflect my skill. On one of them the teacher drew both eyes, and on the other she drew half of the face. That was kind of annoying.
I think my experiences of the two classes were so different because of the medium and the subject. When you're drawing a defined subject realistically, there is a right and wrong way to do it. If your drawing doesn't look exactly like the subject, you suck (in my mind). When you interpret a subject or draw from your imagination, any thing goes. When it comes to medium, I think I was more forgiving of myself when it came to encaustics because I had never done it before. I had fun experimenting. But I have been drawing my entire life. I was surprised when I realized I wasn't as good as I had thought or as good as my peers.
I'm not sure what moral I should take out of this. Be nice. I still feel the same way.