Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A Daily Doodle or Two

One of the most important things for an artist is continuity of practice. Well, it's important for me anyway. Without the daily routine of drawing, then studio work I fear that my art practice will dwindle. It's discipline and it's routine that keep the juices flowing. But drawing is a worthwhile pursuit in it's own right.

A lot of my ideas come from online images. The volume of news and reportage online is enormous and images come like a digital blizzard. It's easy enough to pick a few for practice and a lot simpler than going out and sitting in a crowd. Most days I draw one or two faces or figures from news items, social media and the like. They're only for practice, though drawings, sketches, doodles, and cartoons accumulate and often give birth to paintings.

This is a drawing of a drama teacher who is well-known in theater circles. Her name is Anna Scher and she sounds as energetic as a walking thunderbolt. This is from a photo that accompanied an article about how she began working with actors. Her unmistakable good humor and peppy quality comes through in her expression. I tried hard to capture those eyes and brows. Capturing expressions is one of the more difficult skills to hone, and practice like this is exceptionally useful.

If many of my head and face drawings are for practice I do sometimes draw figures or groups of figures to study them for potential paintings. This drawing is from a vintage photo I saw online. Two women and a man were sitting on a bench outside an apartment building. The woman on the right seemed to be speaking into the open window, or perhaps looking into the darkened room beyond the curtains. There's an implied narrative in the image that interested me, as did the light and shadows of the figures. This may yet become a painting.

This is a drawing of Kim Jong Un, the North Korean dictator and sabre-rattler. He isn't shown grinning quite so widely in most pictures, so the one I used was fun. Some of the world news is simply unavoidable, even when you try, and this man's face has been almost omnipresent.

Not all doodles are line drawings. Some of them are watercolor and ink, done while on trips or outdoors. This particular ink and watercolor was done in a pocket sketchbook one rainy morning in Seattle. The palette is limited to a few colors; I drew the ancient lilac in pencil first, then inked part of the drawing, painted the moss and then added defining ink marks. It is about 3.5x6.

Finally, here's a small sketch across two pages of my pocket sketchbook. It's actually the inner cover and first page, with my identification. The image is one I made of a bridge in Minnesota, considerably altered. This actually was a daily sketch that I added a long while after beginning the sketches inside. I laid it out in pencil, painted over that and accentuated the image with a few lines of ink.

Daily drawing ought to be in every artist's routine.

No comments:

Post a Comment