Draw that with your left hand, you have 10 seconds, go!  – By @nclrolly

By Rolly Ng


Draw that with your left hand, you have 10 seconds, go!


How would you draw the David sculpture if you only have 10 seconds?

I had a 3-hour drawing session in V&A last Saturday. Did quick sketches ranging from 5 mins to 10 seconds with BOTH of my hands. I regained massive confidence in my ability to draw after the session.

For a while, I didn’t believe I could draw. Art is just a subject that appears on my report card, pretty sure I had a D in senior school. The last time I enjoyed art was when I made a horse out of little tiles, horse-riding was my favourite activity back then. There was a time when I loved drawing myself in a rocket as I wanted to be an astronaut.

In 8 sketching lessons before coming to SCA, I learnt about perspective, shadowing and how to express human gestures. When we did life-drawing at the beginning of term one, I was relieved that I had those lessons. I didn’t really practice after that.

When I was scamping for the last few briefs, I realised my inability to draw well is holding me back from expressing my ideas. I had to rely on images on google to trace on photoshop. I couldn’t show how kids can have fun in Thorpe Park and zoom in to the roller coaster as I couldn’t draw one. Drawing courses look pricy when what I need is a space to be discipline to practice.

I came across a 3-hour course in V&A on quick sketches of gesture, description: taught by a professional illustrator, seems helpful, let me give it a go.

There was just 4 of us, perfect for me. The plan is to sketch for 5 mins, and bit by bit,  go down to 10 secs. Ok, let’s see how I will cope this.

We started with a head sculpture without a nose (which I didn’t realised interpret that bit as nostrils). I started off with a 3-inch frame as my keyline. It’s very small, resembles a head with a sad face, my strokes were light, I reminded myself to only draw what I see and not to overthink as I put pressure my pencil. Later on, the teacher suggested not to concentrate on the subject, put in the background in too. 5 minutes ended, It wasn’t as bad as I thought, I didn’t return everything I learnt back to my sketching teacher. I felt up for more challenges.

I drew bigger and aimed to fill the A3. Then at some point, the teacher saw me changed the way I draw, I moved my fingers to the upper part of the pencil, this made me drew quicker, the strokes were darker and I can tell that I had a leap in confidence then.

We moved to 2D paintings and drew the same character a few times in different duration. I was pretty good at outlining gestures. As it goes down to 1 min, I learnt that I should not to set expectations too high and should prioritise expressing motion.

I drew stairs, the courtyard from the second floor, hallways, people looking at antique and their reflection. The day ended with Michelangelo’s David.

Throughout the session, I was challenged to use my left hand. I didn’t really like the experience, the drawings were messy and I felt frustrated that I could not control how much pressure I want to create shadows. Eventually, I gave up and focused on shape and form. Looking back, some sketches do resemble the subject.

I felt so drained after the 3 hours. I decided to give up going to Tim Walker. I felt that my passion for drawing came back. I went to look for art supply shops for more sketchbooks, and spent my night on discovering how Ohuhu is a great alternative to Copics.

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