Last night was the second meeting and actual work. The local art store forgot to show up with the materials we'd ordered last week but promised next time for sure I'm now tempted to call them and ask them to drop my order, because we don't have to buy from them, we can pick up the listed items ourselves, and I'd like them sooner than next week.We're starting with charcoal and still lifes of generally geometric forms, which is a pretty reasonable starting place. She found enough paper and charcoal for everyone, and set up three large wooden boxes on the stand, and, after a demonstration, we drew boxes. Some of the tips were very good, such as getting down the outline of the grouping before trying to distinguish the forms so you're thinking in terms of the actual image rather than "boxes". Generally, drawing what you really see, instead of drawing what you know is there. Then we moved on to shading techniques in charcoal, which was intuitively un-obvious: cover the whole sheet in charcoal to a medium shade and then use an eraser to lighten and more charcoal to darken. And to end the class, she added new forms to the display (cylindrical: a jug, a wide candle, a bottle, a roll of toilet paper) and showed us how to add to a drawing.
In between the demonstrations, she kept asking if anyone needed help and went to them. She also did some general circulating and I got "very nice!" a couple of times, to which I responded "thank you!" I've got to stop doing that. I have a bit of trouble accepting compliments. I always want to point out what's wrong and imperfect about whatever is getting complimented, and it's been a lot of my life learning to just say "thank you" instead. But this is a class. I need to say, "Thank you, but what can I do to make it better?"