I recently completed the Dynamic Sketching 1 class with Peter Han and Johnson Truong at CGMA. This class was a lot of fun to do, and I took away a few important lessons from it that I think have really improved my drawing. First of all, I think that using pens and markers, which I had no experience with before this class gave me more confidence with my line work and helped me practice getting a line right the first time instead of being timid or sketchy about it, and I think that this has carried over to my pencil and digital work as well. Second, it gave me more of a sense of how to create contrast with line work and cross-hatching between different value areas. Third, I got a lot of practice thinking about focal points of a drawing, and keeping in mind where you want the viewer’s eye to go when they look at a drawing. Fourth, I got practice with idealization and simplification of reference. I had a realization a while ago while doing life drawing from a model that you don’t necessarily have to try to just robotically record what you see, that you can idealize, stylize, and simplify things to make a better drawing. It matters less whether it looks exactly like the reference and more whether it’s a pleasing image. This idea was a huge revelation to me, but I still sometimes forget this. In Dynamic Sketching, I was able to get more practice at this, and we were given strategies for how to simplify things, like a tree with thousands of leaves, but represent it convincingly in a fast way. Below are some of my drawings from the class.