Day one , I will never forget it
All the required materials, the pencils, the eraser, the paper have been bought ---but I later learn they are not the right ones . Along with me are three other novices ---well, not novices really, because each one is a graduate of an Art College and is well versed with the fundamentals of making art.
The instructor explains what is required of us .
First –sharpen the pencil with a utility knife not a sharpener .
Sounds so easy , but it is’nt. Especially if you are not skilled working with sharp blades . Five minutes of struggling to keep the the pencil steady while I shave it with the blade, and my finger is dripping like a leaky tap . Beautiful bright red patterns are forming on the floor!!!
First aid and a Band aid later, I watch, as my new comrades expertly sculpt the pencil into a needle pointed lance . How do they do it ? This my first challenge –I make a mental note to try and practice it at home .
Next, the paper is taped onto the drawing board and the students sketch loose ghosty bandy lines, straight, curved, zig-zags and S shaped. My lines are dark , wavy and no where near straight ( I could never draw straight lines without a ruler, much to the annoyance of the drawing teacher in middle school ) .
Then the same lines are erased by the kneading eraser (no idea why we make the lines in the first place ) . The kneading eraser is new to me . It is soft, sticky , pliable and with the graphite it picks up,looks like snort . Yucky .
The session is over and I catch the bus home wondering what have I let myself in for . I have second thoughts about returning to this Academy of Realist Art.