First week at the Watts Atelier Online School

Last week I started what’s gonna be a long (no, really) journey at the Watts Atelier.
For those of you who don’t know it, it’s simply the best online school where to learn how to draw and paint in an academic, traditional way. It’s pretty expensive, but worth every single penny.
The method itself is hard to grasp since the very beginning, starting from how to sharpen a pencil:
How to sharpen a pencil

Which is a lot more difficult than it seems, using a razor blade. Yes, a razor blade, that it. Phew! I didn’t break any so far, the shorty over there has just fallen from the desk.

The next step, which will last ages, is learning how to use it. It’s not so obvious as the crafty little tool can be used in a variety of ways, to produce a number of different strokes and broad shading:

Warmup at the Watts Atelier Online - Week 1

Warmup 2 at the Watts Atelier Online - Week 1

These are full 12″ by 18″ sheets of smooth newsprint full of warmup strokes. The warmup consists in long line exercises, as well as ovals. And tryst me, drawing ovals IS difficult. Especially with this pencil. Apart from being necessary to get the necessary focus, these exercises are fundamental to get the handle of the oddly sharpened pencil.

I completed phase one, with the following assignments on simple shapes (the negative shapes one, bottom of the page, is actually from phase 2):
Watts Atelier week 1 - Assignments

Wrapping it up: I am totally enthusiast of this course, I can’t wait to get to the real juice with head and figure drawing. I also started with Gouache Phase I, but I will post the complete first batch when I will be done with the first painting.