Reply To: Motivation to continue learning

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Arjun Khode

Hi Lise. In my almost 5 months at DTO, I remember doing only one drawing that was a homework type assignment and that was a skull taken from the photo reference gallery. I always choose subjects that directly align with my passion. For me, academic style and realism mean everything, but I try to apply the techniques I learn to the things I really really love. What is your endgame? For me it is drawing the most beautiful women with a perfect likeness. I have been following your art and I really admire your sincerity with the homework assignments. I would love to know what you love to draw the most?

I also get to learn how to select reference images better when I pick external subjects, which is quite important. For example, today I failed a portrait drawing and learned that I find drawing slightly tilted heads very hard because I have a tendency to straighten things a lot. Sometimes, I feel as though I am forgetting things to think of while drawing, or feel as though I am inadequate in some aspect that really troubles me. Then I definitely commit to studies very seriously.

I remember I tried to do a lot of sculpture paintings in a series because I used to think that is what academic artists do. But it completely burned me out and I could not draw anything for 2 weeks after that. From then, I made it a point to remember that if I am going to draw something, I have to really connect with it emotionally first. I know that might be considered a ‘fine-art’ type mindset, but even now sometimes it happens with me that I don’t ‘feel’ a connection with the subject after I have begun to draw it, I have two choices, either stop that drawing, or go learn the technical skills required to capture that subject and come back to it. Sometimes I come back to the subject, and sometimes I just move on to another subject, but keep it in my mind that I need to learn that skill. That’s how I try to balance it.