At this point, my workbook and textbook diverge. The workbook has a handful more “Gestalt” exercises, while the textbook finishes up with chapters on colour and handwriting. This section covers the workbook.
Edwards starts by getting the student to use an unfamiliar medium – ink. The permanence stops the student from noodling at the painting, but also reinforces the value lessons previously learned.
The Urban Landscape Drawing exercise has the student get out and do some plein air work. It highlighted for me the need to practice line drawing fiddly scenes like trees and foliage, the need to work fast – the light changes dramatically on a late afternoon in October – as well as the necessity of preparing for outdoor work. I came in after 45 minutes, when I couldn’t feel my fingers!
Edwards then has the student build up their penmanship, in preparation for exercise 38, A Figure drawing in Crosshatch.
The Imaginitive Drawing exercise felt tacked on, and the paper wasn’t great at handling the volume of liquid applied to it (most of the preceeding pages in the book are now stained with pink around the binding).
The final drawing was a challenge – a detailled value study that enlarges a 1/2″ square of the subject to a 4″ canvas. I’m not sure I would have felt confident about this when I started but, after working though the book, I’m up for the challenge.
I think it would have been better to end with the self portrait, working these exercises into the main flow of the program, but there’s still two chapters of textbook left.