I spent most of last night and part of this morning catching up on Danny Gregory’s interviews with some of the artists he features in his new book, An Illustrated Journey: Inspiration From the Private Art Journals of Traveling Artists, Illustrators and Designers. I had the videos playing while I was doing other things in my studio when I realized… This would be a prime opportunity to try my hand at sketching people. So, I gave it a try.
I enjoyed it very much and was surprised with the outcome. It was challenging to sketch while they were conversing, moving their heads and having the light change on their faces and such. I did not pause the videos at all to do my sketches, just when I had to answer the phone or when I took a break. I am disappointed in not getting their likenesses, however; so, that just means I need more practice. I was disappointed, too, that, of all the people I tried sketching, Danny was the hardest person to do! Maybe if I go back and colorize them, I’ll get a better likeness. I hope no one is offended with my sketch of them.
As I was scanning the sketches in to my laptop, I noticed a difference in my drawing methods. I usually do contour drawing when I draw and the first two pages (Danny & Liz and Danny & Prashant above) are sort of done that way but the others aren’t.
I think it’s because I took my glasses off for the final three sketches. I don’t know for sure if that’s what I did because I can’t remember consciously making the decision to remove my glasses because I was listening intently to the conversations. I’m thinking I probably did take off my glasses because I had been on the computer most of the day and I usually remove my glasses to avoid getting to the point where my eyes can’t focus anymore. I had also started going to each of the illustrator’s websites to view their work and, maybe their work influenced how I was drawing. Obviously, I’m not drawing enough to have a set practice in place so that my drawing becomes wrote–I’ll have to pay attention next time.
I’m also including two street scenes I did as a challenge to Tommy Kane… I thought it might be fun if he (or anyone else) can tell where in Brooklyn these were done. In the interview, Tommy said he’s sketched every brick in NYC. I’m hoping he can identify this street. I did these sketches in 2008 when I was visiting my son–he had gone to practice with his band and I went out on the stoop to sketch to pass the time.
I’ve kind of avoided daily sketching because the way I approach things is all-encompassing. A day’s sketch, for me, means five hours of my day–that’s: doing the sketch, in a Moleskine or on a separate 5″x7″ watercolor page, and then, applying watercolor. It’s the watercoloring that takes me so long. But, doing these “portraits” seemed to take no time at all; so, I think I might just give it another try. I forgot how fun it could be. I don’t have to work until I fully complete a “masterpiece”; I can set a time limit and work into finishing as much as I can in that amount of time and, eventually, I’ll develop expediency.
Can’t wait till Danny’s next interview!