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I don't know if this belongs in the Art corner or here, but I figured here might be better.
I'm in intermediate drawing, and I enjoy drawing as much as I enjoy writing. One day, I would like to take those two and enhance them as a career, so I am trying harder to improve. Unfortunately, I am in a drawing class where we have to research artists and write about their techniques. I'm kind of stumped because I don't know if there are names for certain techniques or am I supposed to go "Oh, the lines vary in length and thickness, creating interesting lines that keeps the eyes moving".
I'm also using pastels and in my own time, working with inks. I know to post these in AC, but in class when I ask for help, I don't really feel like I'm getting help. I expected a day or two on the techniques we could do with pastels and how to use them properly. Instead, we were kind of thrown in there and she comes around and helps us maybe for five minutes or ten minutes, sometimes fixing things herself. She says "uh, um, er" a lot, which distracts me. I'm trying to learn, but thus far in all of my art classes it's been a 15 minute tutorial and then "OFF YOU GO". I don't know if this is how it's supposed to be.
So, for the TL;DR crowd:
When I'm writing about an artists' techniques, how do I do it if I don't even know if there are names and such.
And two, am I supposed to be teaching myself art mostly with minor instruction from the teacher, or is there supposed to be more to this? I've asked her for a day tutorial but she shot it down.
edit: also, how does one interpret paintings? Like abstract ones and such. I like the De Stijl era of the paintings, but I couldn't give you an interpretation of one. And she's asking us to also do that when we visit museums, to interpret the deeper meanings of paintings. I don't know if this is something taught to art majors (I'm an art minor) or what. Any tips?
edit^2 : Also, do you guys have any art magazine recommendations? I'm not sure which would be best.