I suspect I’m not the only one who feels that the holiday season is more a disruption than something to celebrate. I’m an old guy, set in my ways and those ways are for me to go sketching. But with all the hoopla my routine has gone bonkers and my sketching has become scattered. I thought I would just post a smattering of the many small, generally incomplete sketches I’ve done over the past week or so leading into New Years.
Here’s a sketch I did one day at our museum. Another Egyptian guy, standing stiff against a wall, or so it seems. I don’t really know who he is but he was fun to draw and that’s good enough for me.
He was done in a Stillman & Birn Gamma book with my Namiki Falcon and DeAtramentis Document ink. Color was mostly burnt sienna with a bit of ultramarine to produce the grays. I played with the notion of making him look like stone, which he was. I’m not sure how successful I was in this.
Otherwise sketching has been a bunch of doodles here and there, mostly on photocopy paper. On New Years Eve, however, I was watching TV with Chantal and I drew these three ornaments that were laying on a table. Color was done with watercolor pencils but the sketch was done on cheap paper and so I couldn’t use a lot of water or move the color very much.
I was still bored by the TV so I picked up my Sailor fude pen and decided to give it a whirl. I’ve never adapted to the fude pens because I typically want thin lines and there are better tools for that. But I’m determined to improve my ability to draw heavy-line, quick sketches for some reason. I started out by drawing the same three ornaments.
As I scanned this for the post I couldn’t help but think of a conversation I’ve been having with Tina Koyama about what or whether the degree of expressiveness in a sketch says about what the artist was feeling, either about the sketch or the subject. The two sketches above were done within minutes of one another and yet one was done with an “expressive” stroke while the other was done in a more controlled fashion. I’m pretty sure I was wishing the holidays would be over during both sketches (grin).
I turned my fude pen to my imagination and one thing I drew was a bunch of imaginary carriage lanterns. I’d talked to Yvan about meeting to draw some at the museum where there’s a carriage exhibition going on so they were probably on my mind. Anyways, prior to drawing these I looked at a couple sketches I’d done of some a few months ago but these were all done in a very few minutes. While I think they reflect bits and pieces of ‘the real thing’, they’re purely imaginary.
Now that the holidays are over, I should return to a more normal schedule. I’m still a couple sketches/days behind on the blog but I’ll get caught up “real soon.”
I would argue that the differences in your approach to each of the ornament sketches — one done with careful control, the other more quickly and while using a less familiar tool — are, in fact, expressed by the sketches that resulted. Not huge emotional outpourings, but they’re still expressed.
By the way, your sketch of the Egyptian is very effective — the subtle shading does evoke stone.
And I’m happy that the holidays are over, too, if only because the crowds everywhere were more annoying than ever! Onward to regular, normal sketching again!
Every sketch expresses something, or at least I hope mine do. But relative to our discussion, the questions are related to whether that expression is greater/lesser between the two approaches and whether the expression says anything about the artist’s feelings about the subject. We should continue that discussion 🙂
Glad you like the Egyptian guy. I’m determine to figure out something about watercolors – some day.
Good point about holiday crowds. Back to normal, almost here. The kids go back to school tomorrow.