This is the picture that broke my drawing.
In college I took a single drawing class, and did somewhat well. Always wanted to take this a bit further.
I took up drawing again, a couple years ago. A local artist hosted sessions in his studio where I could draw against a live model. My drawing improved to the point that I could do figures well enough, but needed practice with faces. Went into my saved favorites from Flickr to find the best faces for practice.
After the above, my drawings became mechanistic, crude, and no longer improved. Had no idea why. My frustration level at the end of a session was incandescent, and I eventually stopped drawing.
In the last several weeks I have gone back to the hosted sessions and tried to draw. My drawings were crude and my frustration level extreme.
Of late I have spent time with folk (musicians) whose emotions are very much on the surface. Very different from the engineers in my working life. Feeling everything seems to be connected with making good music. This connection brought to mind the earlier drawing sessions. When I was drawing well ... my emotions were very much active. In a sense, I was a bit in love with subtle female curves, and how light touched the model's body. (And have a positive disinterest in drawing male models.) The end of a session was a bit painful - like falling out of love.
Thinking back, the drawing above was the inflection point. I had to suppress emotion and could not finish the drawing. In later drawing sessions, my emotions were still off, and I drew poorly.
Went back to the artist's studio this week. Intentionally kept my emotions on. For the first time in a long while, my drawing improved.
Connections ... the girl in the above picture posted a series of photographs to Flickr that were, frankly, brilliant. After a time, her postings slowed, and then stopped. At first she claimed her camera had lost it's focus. A bit later she admitted the camera was not at fault. I wonder if she too suppressed emotion, without knowing. Feeling everything is painful.
Update: Three weeks and three drawing sessions later, my drawing continues to improve.