While fresh from a David Kassan drawing workshop, I thought I’d try to sketch a small 6×6 inch portrait of my maternal grandmother using charcoal and the methods David demonstrated.
After a David Kassan Drawing Workshop
I’m spinning around my studio this week – on fire – after a three day drawing workshop with New York artist David Kassan at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art. I signed up for it spontaneously the moment I saw his post about it on facebook.
David’s methods are steeped in the best foundations of traditional draftsmanship; know your anatomy, know your tools, work from life, and really, really look at the nuance of your subject.
Make changes as you discover room to improve along the way, even if it means blotting out something you worked hard to build. Always shoot for better, and stay away from feeling attached or precious about a part of your drawing just because you struggled, or put a lot of time into it.
Take your time to get it absolutely right. He is very, very good, and watching him work made my fingers itch to grab a pencil and try his approach to drawing.
It didn’t take long before I realized that he’s good because he’s worked hard at his art, and all that focused practice has sharpened his skill over years of studying and drawing for hours and hours.
Drawing Tips and Tricks from David Kassan
David shared tips and tricks and treasures freely in his workshop. We all got a good sense for how he makes his art.
He’s generous to describe as he’s working, so after three days of intake, I was ready to burst. But my own artistic execution was another matter.
We don’t get to leap frog onto that level of mastery after 72 hours of listening to verbal instructions, and watching great skill demonstrated.
Producing amazing art is earned with time and practice (work), and that was so clear in this workshop. There was a good lesson in humility here. It made me appreciate that David applied himself to his art with so much steady conviction at a young age. He deserves to be as skilled as he is, because he earned it.
I came away from the weekend with a renewed commitment to practice harder, study more, and keep trying. Even on crappy days when I don’t think I have a molecule of skill. Just suck it up, and draw.
Watching Masterful Drawing Demos
Everyone was excited to see the results of David’s guidance immediately in their drawings; we all got better at looking, and rendering what we saw.
Each one of us sat in awe to watch him work in the mornings on a portrait of our lovely model Toni Czechorosky, while he was alternately describing what he was doing, and answering our questions.
David had no remorse about wiping away a beautifully rendered eye, or a perfect nose or an achingly lovely mouth if it wasn’t placed just right to record the essence of the model, which was a lesson in itself. He continuously draws and wipes, draws and wipes. We were frequently gasping in the room behind him.
David Kassan is young and skilled and articulately generous about what he does, and he’s a nice guy. What a lovely combination in an art instructor.
If you get a chance to study with him, do it.
Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you in the next post,
Face your challenges head on and make them your strengths.David Kassan