The following is an interview with USA artist and DrawPJ.com course participant, Scott Kunkle.
I have been drawing with graphite on/off for years usually in the evenings or on weekends. I came to a point several years ago both professionally and personally where I wanted to be more intentional with my art. There’s a proverb that says: 'If a person chops wood with a dull axe, it takes more time and is more difficult’. Artistically I levelled off and wasn’t progressing despite extra effort and intensity. I realized my axe needed sharpening and about that time I found Drawspace.com and started taking drawing lessons with Cindy Wider.
© Scott Kunkle
Something I still struggle with is hurriedness, knowing when to add details and when to stop. Presently I’m working on making as few strokes as possible on the paper to avoid erasing so much. I like to jump in and just draw, but I have a better overall experience and results, when I first take some time and plan.
“Why do you create art?”
Some things are more easily explained by drawing or painting, such as capturing the essence of someone’s personality through portraiture. Its satisfying to create something people find value in and can appreciate, because they can relate to it in some way.
“What goes through your mind while you create art?”
Once all the preliminary work is completed such as, value, composition, shapes, elements and color, I’m finding I enjoy the actual drawing or painting time more. I don’t try to divide my attention by listening to music or having the TV on while I draw, I concentrate better doing one thing at a time.
“How do you make time to include art in your life, do you have any suggestions to help others?”
I like to schedule and plan what I’m going to work on with a completion date. I personally need the structure a timeline provides. When I have a due date, I tend to make better use of my time and I’m more motivated. Something I like to do when I have an appointment of some kind, is to take along pencils and draw while I’m waiting. I feel a void or something is missing when I’m not creating.
© Scott Kunkle
I took a picture of a glass of red grape juice, grapes and bread outside with the late morning sun shining directly behind. This was the first time trying this and I liked the way the edges of the bread looked, along with the reflections from the glass. This was the third drawing experimenting with Pan Pastels and was a good choice to render the grapes smooth appearance.
“How has the ‘Complete Drawing and Painting Certificate Course helped you to learn how to create art?”
The course helped me understand through step-by-step drawing exercises, methods and techniques, linked with the knowledge and encouragement of an instructor, how to create art that is both convincing and unique to me. Learning to draw correctly has increased my motivation and desire to draw even more, because its more enjoyable, and not “hit or a miss”. In addition, the DrawPj course teaches how to draw sequentially and systematically and answers the question “do I have talent?” and breaks it down to foundational skill development versus trying harder and being frustrated.
“What goals do you have for your artwork?”
Keep improving on what I’ve learned from the course material on DrawPj.
Develop a web-site.
Enter varied art shows.
To grow as an artist and a person.
Attend workshops with established artists.
Practice and more practice.
“Do you have any advice for other artists who want to learn how to draw or paint?”
One thing I had to learn was to avoid comparing myself with other artists. It only led to feeling frustrated and discouraged. We tend to say, I can never be as good as...and don’t give ourselves the chance to be successful; sometimes its simply out of the fear of failing. Accept the artistic level your at, set short and long range goals. Ask yourself, Do I want to enter shows and work toward being a credentialed artist or draw/paint as a hobby.
Also, Its helpful to join a local art group who meet on a regular basis for support and encouragement which helps avoid isolation. The other is attend workshops to improve your skills. I did a 3 dimensional piece my new dog helped create by chewing up our remote control while I was gone for a few hours. I was working on a graphite drawing of my dog and my wife together and decided to combine the two pieces in our annual visual artist contest. I wasn’t sure the idea would be understood, but ended up winning an Honorable Mention. What we may think isn’t good others may find appealing. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there; the worst thing that can happen doesn’t compare to not trying.
© Scott Kunkle
Sumaya was drawn on Yupo with graphite pencils. Overworking a drawing is a particular challenge for me and obsessing over too many details. I’m learning to pay closer attention to how shapes contribute to the overall composition along with values, light and capturing the essence of a person.
“Have you entered any competitions or won any awards since studying your course with DrawPJ.com”
Most Promising Artist on DrawPJ, which included a year mentorship with Cindy Wider, the course founder, a trophy and certificate. Locally we have a Visual Artist Contest for 2 and 3-D art. Last year I won a judges merit award for a pencil portrait and this year an honorable mention for a watercolor painting of my dog.
Thank-you Scott Kunkle for sharing your art with us. To find out how you can participate in DrawPJ, and try it out for free, visit Draw PJ – The Complete Drawing and Painting Course. Click the big green button in the upper right to get started right away.