Monday, September 3, 2012

At First Glance #1

5" x 7" ink and watercolor on Fabriano Artistico rough paper

Well, I had the idea for a series of small drawings of people - perhaps grouped together in a larger square and single frame.

I am intrigued by how much is shown (or assumed) about an individual at first glance.   
The challenge to myself would be to draw freehand in pen without doing it in pencil first, just as I would a sketch in the field.  Then it might have the raw quality that I value in field sketching.  I would have no background, letting each figure show the character of the person.  At the same time, I would try to give the drawing a more formal quality than a sketch might offer.

My reference photo is from random shots I took at a public event a year to two ago.  I snapped pictures with my phone in various directions.  People were everywhere.  The magic of digital shots is that I can enlarge and crop the image I want, put it on the computer screen, and then sketch at my desk as though I were there.  I have more time, but I try not to use too much.  I don't worry at all about a likeness - it is the effect I am after.

This was my first attempt, and it was successful.  I have done two.  The second took two tries.  It was a bit harder, because I had to match the size and the style of the first.  The third became too lose, so I added a background and it became something else altogether - not suitable for the series, but interesting.

But my new series faces cancellation.

For these first two drawings I used the fabled SKB SB-1000 pen, my favorite sketching pen.  I have extolled its virtues before.  It has a fine line that I love and it is waterproof so does not smear with watercolor.  It is essentially a ball point pen.  But there is no information on the pen - anywhere.  Is the ink archival?  Is that question something I should concern myself with anyway if the watercolor would be under UV protected glass?  I don't know.  What do you think?

So I have taken a failed drawing on the same paper, and stuck it in the Florida sun.  Let's see what that does.

Well, I've done two drawings - doing maybe seven more for a grouping of nine would be great fun, a personal challenge, and I've already ripped the paper to size, so why not?  We will see.  And then maybe I can follow up with 6 foot acrylic paintings of the same subjects.  Alert the museums.

OK, that was my formal and snooty side.


("Ta," is what formal and snooty people say.)

And this is the comic I did for Pamo's zine: