Last night was my first night with an arts group in my area. This group has been around for a long time and provide feedback to artists, both amateur and professional. They also hold exhibitions and fundraising events. Last night was their “Annual Critique Night” where they invited esteemed painter-Pamela Cockcroft-Lasserre– to critique members works.
I arrived at the event with only my sketchbook in hand, but after seeing all the paintings floating around, I decided to quickly run back home to pick up my bellydance painting, so she could give me some advice.
Lots of people, entirely women, came to the event and it took awhile before she finally got around to the back rows where I was seated. Once it was my turn I shyly put up my insect drawing and my practice painting and told her that I have just recently started pursuing painting seriously again.
“You’re very good at drawing, she said in her fairly strong Afrikaner accent, looking at my sketch pad. “And as for the painting, how did you first design the figure?”
“I drew it first with charcoal and then used paint” I replied
“You must never, ever use charcoal with paint, she said, “because it will muddle up the paint and you will be fighting with it”
“If you want to paint something, she continued, “draw it with your paint. Make sure you use paint retarder, so if you mess up, you can wipe it off and start again.”
After thanking her, I sat back down and this woman next to me invited me to join an online group that posts weekly drawing ideas, members sketch this object and then critique each other’s work. Which sounds like great practice(Though I’m not usually at a loss for ideas) as well as a chance to get feedback, hopefully constructive.