Saturday, May 24, 2014

Your Sketchbook as a Mobile Art Lab

It's good to experiment! One of the functions of a sketchbook is to function as a mobile laboratory, for experiments, and to record trials and errors, and to record results.

This particular day one thing  I was experimenting with architecture, a subject I find challenging. I've been experimenting with using a pencil grid as a guideline to help me plot out the basic architectural structure of a building before getting caught up in all the cool little details.

That's a change from the way I usually work. I most often just pick a spot and begin to draw working out from that place. The problem with architecture is that I often can't fit the whole thing on the page, or because I'm focusing on the detail I actually miss whole important parts of the building like leaving out a window or an entire floor!!!

My second experiment was with the writing style. Normally, I write in all caps and create neat blocks of text which play an important role in the overall lay out of the page. On this day I wrote in funky colors, with a Faber-Castell Brush Tip Pen in cursive.  I've been trying out several looser more expressive writing styles to see if any of them fit me. So far I haven't hit on one that would be my default font, so I'm pretty much back to block lettering. but that doesn't mean I'm not going to keep experimenting with writing styles.  Because the neat part is that I now have a couple of new ones I can use now and again when appropriate to the page and I have a few new ones that look good as headlines.

Third experiment for the day was sketching people a little more slowly.  This is another area I find challenging. It's more of a fear thing than a skill thing, though my people drawing skills will always need improving. I actually get pretty nervous sketching people in public, so I rush my sketches which really doesn't help me improve my skills. For the experiment I picked people in the lunch shop that were far enough away from me that I felt pretty OK that They wouldn't notice that I was drawing them and that helped me slow down a bit. The woman in the beret was the most successful because she was engrossed reading the newspaper and I felt the safest taking the time to really look at her as I was drawing.

1 comment:

  1. I struggle with drawing people, too, Jan, but you're right, slowing down and really focusing seems to help. Guess we just need to keep on practicing. I keep making resolutions like "I will fill one 9x12 page per day with sketches of people" or "I will draw ten images of people every day", etc. If I would actually do what I resolved to do, I'd be good at it by now! Oh, well, it keeps me humble. :)


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