Lesson 3 and "Do Not Grind"

4:43 PM, Wednesday September 14th 2022

I've found that when attempting the constructional drawing in Lesson 3, I keep finding myself wanting to redo drawings.

I've only finished one drawing (the mushroom demo) and I did that one three times. I know this flies in the face of the "do not grind" philosophy. I think in part it's because mushroom construction is so simple so any mistake is completely naked. I am gonna make myself move on now, but I struggle to feel like I am doing these constructions to the best of my ability on the first attempt.

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8:30 PM, Wednesday September 14th 2022

This is not an uncommon experience, but I think it comes down to acknowledging that if you gave yourself as much time as you needed to construct each form, draw each shape, and execute each mark with appropriate time invested into the planning and preparation phases of the ghosting method, followed by a confident execution of the stroke, and you're giving yourself ample time to observe and study your reference, looking at it frequently throughout the process... then what you're doing is the best of your current ability.

It won't be perfect, and hell, it may not even be good. But if you've invested the time to follow the instructions, go through all of the steps, and all of that - it may still not come out well, and for our purposes here that's entirely fine. Don't concern yourself too much with how everything looks in the end - focus on how you spent your time.

12:13 AM, Thursday September 15th 2022

Thanks for the reply. My 3rd attempt actually looked a lot less like the reference than my 2nd, but potentially more 3D and solid.

I wanted to hone in on this idea of "giving yourself ample time to observe and study your reference." I frequently find myself confused because I made some mistake earlier in the construction, so now I have to chose between adhering to the incorrect construction, or following the reference and undermining the construction. I find myself maybe not observing the reference enough. I feel if I am bound by my initial construction, how important is the reference? What does "observing enough" feel like, and does it change depending on where you are in the drawing process?

Thanks always for your time, patience, and help.

5:55 PM, Thursday September 15th 2022

Our use of reference in this course is primarily as a source of information. It informs all of the choices we make in terms of which forms we add, where, the nature of those forms, and so on. But, in executing the marks that we need to create those forms, we will inevitably make mistakes - big ones, small ones, whatever - as a result of us not being perfect robots, and thus not being able to, as beginners, make exactly the marks we intend.

Thus, we deviate from those references, and must carry on, upholding the structure we're building, while still applying the information from the reference. You are thus bound by your construction, as it is built up - bound to adhere to that structure as it is, and not to take the kinds of shortcuts that would bring us back in line with the reference, but at the cost of the structure's solidity.

You will of course always be pushing yourself to observe more, to invest more time there - but it all comes down to understanding what the purpose of that observation is. To see things as they are, and more importantly to identify how they can be broken down into individual pieces which can then be used to reconstruct the result.

Common signs that you're not observing frequently enough throughout the process and instead relying on memory is when things get vastly oversimplfiied and cartoony. Signs that you're observing fine but perhaps not allowing yourself to dig into those later phases where we find the smallest of our relevant forms, could suggest that you're simply cutting yourself short too soon, and need to invest more time into observing in the later phases of construction.

Ultimately, reference is extremely important - but as with all things, it's about the role it plays, and how it operates as a tool for you to achieve your ends. Or in this case, the exercise's ends.

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10:02 PM, Monday September 19th 2022
edited at 4:21 AM, Sep 21st 2022

Deleting my posts.

edited at 4:21 AM, Sep 21st 2022
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