Sunday, November 13, 2005

Old School Learning Trick: Art

I am the No. 1 in school (academic wise) throughout my entire school-based education lifespan, from Standard 1 until Form 5. Even in college, I graduated with 1st class honours and Best Student Project. Even since I am the best in school during Standard One, I had already trapped myself in long cycle of competition and pride retention. Once you are up there, you never want to come down. It is too much of a psychological and confidence blow to me to ever step down from the top spot, thus I trapped myself. I would feel that many people want to compete with me, asking for my results for every single subjects and start comparing, I hate that very much. Why can’t we all just do our best and don’t bother about others? I guess not, as we human like to compete consciously or subconsciously.

I couldn’t remember much about my primary school years, but I have a pretty good memory of my secondary school years. It is not possible for me to be good at every single subject, but I have to in order to be the best in school. I am weak at Chinese, Art and Additional Math, and I have founds ways to counter them and get some respectable results.

Art, probably something which require talent, creativity and skill, which I don’t have any of them. Though I enjoyed drawing, but I am just mediocre. I know of a few seniors who are extremely good at art, and I try to learn indirectly from them. There is this senior named Ong You Yang, probably the most talented guy I had known off from the entire school. Someone whom I would admire and respect. I still remember I stood outside his class when he was taking an Art exam together with a bunch of student, observing how he skilfully completes his masterpiece. I learned something from there: I need some tools to enhance the Art production. I bought Faber-Caster Water Colour Pencil, Banco Bottle Water Colours with just 8 colour, Oil Paster, Charcoal Stick, Eastern and Western Brush, 2 Colour Plates, 2 Big Cups and Tissue Paper, and a lamination spray. All these will help me to get an A in Art, and it does.

I didn’t go for much Art training, thus I have no skill. I am not born with Art in my blood, thus no talent. Perhaps I have some small creativity, but not very good in executing them. I suck at both Water Colour and Oil Painting, thus I have to figure out a way to solve this. I know my weakness in drawing real-life objects look like real-life (especially human, plant, animal and vehicle), thus I only draw scenery and fantasy (and I specialised in them). I would use the Banco Bottle Water Colour to fill up the base of the drawing, with an extra big bottle of white (as I used it a lot to mix it with other colours to make some light shade effects). Why only 8 colours? I can’t control the colours and shading we well, just 8 is more than enough to do the job to fill up the foundation colour of the drawing. The Eastern brush is good for large background, while Western brush is good to create texture effect. 2 colour plates, so I don’t have to waste time to wash them in between. 2 big cups, one for washing off the colour from the brush, while the other to be used as water for the painting (big so that we don’t have to wash them in between). The essence is the Faber-Caster Water Colour Pencil and Oil Paster, as they will bring my dull painting to life. Since I can’t control the paint we well, Water Colour Pencil gave me the much needed control. I just colour it exactly at the point and use a small brush with water to smoothen the colour. The effect is just like water colour, and much easier to be controlled and mix around to create proper shades. Oil Paster is very good to create a rough and colourful environment effect, as the colour is striking with texture effect, and it can be smoothen easily with tissue paper (crayon can’t be smoothen). Tissue paper is used to suck excessive water off the painting as well, and could be used to create some texture effect if used properly. Lastly the lamination spray is used to make the painting looks more sparkling compared to the others. Art does require skill and talent, but the right tools would help a great deal as well. I score an A for art in PMR (I didn’t take Art for SPM), and the art teacher praise my drawings sometimes (and pin them on the Wall of Fame). Anyhow, the ability to produce a much better artwork does make me happy as well.

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