I met Marc Taro Holmes on day two of my Montreal trip at the Pointe a Calliere. This is primarily and archeology museum, built on top of a large excavation of early Montreal habitations. We were there to sketch in a natural history exhibition that’s going on now.
I admit that I was tired from the day before. Now that I’m officially old I don’t hold up like I used to but I was excited to sketch some animals. We wandered around, looked at everything and then I started drawing this spoonbill. It was a magnificent specimen. I tried the ‘draw fast’ approach and that cost me some accuracy but I was pleased by the result.
I was getting tired and Marc graciously agreed to walking across the street so I could sit, drink some coffee and have a muffin. That was fun and I needed it, but eventually we headed back to capture some more of the museum.
I decided to press the ‘draw fast’ method even more and tried to capture a bunch of birds on one page. I felt I’d went too small and I certainly drew too fast, but I had fun doing these quick captures. Maybe this will help me sketch pigeons on the street this summer.
Unfortunately I was running out of gas and just couldn’t bring myself to start another sketch. I decided at that point that I was done for the day and so I said goodbye to Marc and headed off to meet my daughter. I’m not sure that ‘draw fast’ is for me. Maybe I’m destined to forever be a slow sketcher.
I think it’s hard to draw faster than your natural pace if you try to maintain the same style and media as when you draw at your natural slower pace. Maybe if you practice going faster while using simpler tools — ink only or soft pencil only — you could find a comfortable “shorthand” of your own style that’s faster to execute.
Of course you’re right. But it’s also the case that each of us has definitions of what acceptable is. I do a lot of quick-sketching. When I do that I kinda-sorta capture what I’m looking at but never in any true sense of the word. And that’s not acceptable to me when I’m trying to “draw” something. I see no point in drawing animals in a museum and not worrying about whether the proportions are correct, or to sketch a building without concern for perspective, angles, etc. That’s just me. Others see it differently. It would be a dull world is we all fished.