Friday, October 26, 2012

At First Glance #2

5" x 7" ink and watercolor on Fabriano Artistico rough paper
Your momma was right.  You are special.

In one nicely written web article that you can see here, a Mr. O. Hooge (how I love that name), of British Columbia, Canada, said that if you go back 10 generations, following the father's line only without even taking momma or all sorts of various deaths of potential ancestors into account, the chance that you exist at all is at most 1 in 6 x 10100.

He then shows you the zeros, which is a nice touch:

1 in 6000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000.

Wow.


In a Huffington Post blog post which you can see here:
Dr. Ali Binazir says..
that Mel Robbins, a self-help author, states..
that scientists say..
that your chance of being born is about 1 in 400 trillion!!
Maybe those scientists are taking all those factors into account that Mr. Hooge set aside.  I don't know.

But according to the scientists, you, dearie, are 1 in 400 trillion!!

No room for the zeros here.  Sorry.

You can look at this another way. If you were a rabbit, you'd probably only be 1 in 1000.  If you were an ant, you'd probably only be 1 in 100.  If you were a grain of sand, you'd probably just be 1 in 2. Well, thinking about it, a grain of sand isn't born.  My numbers.  Sorry, Mr. Hooge.

So you are lucky to be here!

And that is the reason for my "At First Glance" series.  It's my attraction to the uniqueness of each and every individual out there (and that, of course, includes you).


When I was at one of the attractions here in South Florida, I pretended to snap a picture of a building, but I was really taking it of the crowd.  Sneaky.  And the girl at the top of this post was among them.  This is my second drawing for the "At First Glance" series.  Each are on a white field and drawn freehand in pen in a kind of  "sketchy" style, as though on site, then colored in watercolor.  The first in the series is here.

I suppose it is the uniqueness of folks that attracts me when I am out and about, sketching, too.  My small moleskine is always in my back pocket; my pens, always in the front.


Here are a few of my sketches from life.. 

Here's a couple I sketched at a restaurant at breakfast.  There is something about the whole feel of this that I like - I wonder if it would make a good painting?  I did something different this time.  I painted everything in the same color underneath, quinadrone gold.  Each color - not yellow - that you see is a result of glazes on top.

ink and watercolor in a small moleskine
Below is a girl I saw a few booths over.  Each time I sketch is a challenge - I am always wondering if it will come out all right.  Sometimes it makes it hard to make the first mark, the concern of it.  But I must always make the first mark.

Sketches are always interesting, because I learn something each time.  This time I gave her a shnoz.  I would probably do it differently next time I draw someone at that angle.  And that is the key to progress.

ink and watercolor in a small moleskine
Here is the local pharmacist, drawn while standing in line to pick up a prescription.

I showed my family this one, and they all said it was a perfect likeness!  I like that!


ink and watercolor in a small moleskine

So look in a mirror today.  No matter whether you straighten your hair, polish your bald head, smile at what you see, or recoil in horror, remember your uniqueness.

Then do something with it!

***

PS - The experiment with the SKB SB-1000 pen bore fruit.  The pen marks faded by half in the sun.

Captain Elaine, whose blog is here, said in her comment to my post, that there are always two issues - not only do you have to worry about the sun (UV resistence), but the ink, if it's not archival, may fade on it's own in the dark! 

I once spoke to an aging artist who, with a sad wistfulness, said that all his old sketches were fading.  I enjoy the line, the feel, of the SKB pen.  I'm not sure I'm done with this pen, but that's probably enough.  When I use it, I'm beginning to feel like I do when I eat something that's bad for me.  I've gotten rid of two fugitive paints from my palette, so it seems reasonable to abandon this pen as well.

So I've picked up the Pigma Micron again.  And I'm getting used to it..



44 comments:

  1. This is such a "makes you think" post, love it and this will make my standing in front of the mirror tonight a whole lot more interesting... So all those lines are something so much more, well 1 in 400 trillion. You drawings are really good (especially like the first one), but they are all great people watching/studies. When I was on on my mini vacation I also took a few pictures (pretened it was of my kids rather the person of interest so I can look back and sketch), working on a few now so we see what comes out of it. Great post Dan, I love it when they make you think. And now I have to check my pens out, will they fade Im not sure but I think Im far over due to make a self portait (been far too long).

    Again, great post and drawings!!!!

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    1. Thanks Mari, so much. I'm glad you like the pictures and that I've made you think - hopefully not to hard. :)

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  2. Hello Dan,
    This is an excellent post. I love all four of the sketches. Still don't know if I could go out and sketch people. It would be great to be able to browse through your moleskine sometime.
    Stew.
    stewcrowther.wordpress.com
    _________________________

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    1. Well, the moleskine is some good - some bad, but thank you. Of course you could go out and sketch people! I've seen your beautiful people drawings. Do it once or twice and you'll be addicted!

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  3. Interesting post Dan. Fabulous numbers and better sketches.

    btw I always have problems with noses at that angle - they are seen, but only just, and my pen always exaggerates them :P

    btw2 try Staedtlar pigment liner - nicer nibs, in my opinion, than Micron, waterproof/lightfast & permanant :)

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    1. Thank you about the NOSE comment - glad to see you have the same problem. I am having mixed feelings about the Micron at this point - I have already looked for the Staedlar after reading your comment - haven't found it yet - but when I do, I will definitely give it a try. Thanks! :)

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  4. wonderful sketches...I really have to think about my pens..I don't think about such things and I'd like to be a serious sketcher....like you! The woman that you sketched from the photo is super! I think all your work from life really makes such a difference, because your drawing has that lively quality that comes from really looking at the subject. The seated people are great too...all excellent!

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    1. Yeah, yeah, butter me up. If I were twice as serious as I am, and that would be about 1/10 as serious as you are, I could be really good. Thanks for your delightful comments about the work from life - I think it is because I am always really enthralled with the people I see.

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  5. Great captures!! I really love all these sketches !

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    1. Thanks so much Martine! Capture is a great word for it - I try.

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  6. Great to see you back at it with ink and moleskine!! These are marvelous sketches!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! I love your sketches too!

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  7. Was the Declaration of Independence written with archival ink? Probably. The van Gogh drawings they're pretty old did they have archival ink back then? Then what about paper, ink is only as long term as the paper what if it crumbles and wastes away? Oh my, maybe we should just do what feels right today and let the future tend to itself.

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  8. Great post Dan... your posts are always thought provoking and informative... 1 in 400 trillion... WOW... I'm feeling really special now. LOL Your lady is special... love her hat... I like hats, not many people wear them other than ball caps these days. Your pharmacist is PERFECT... he looks like my doctor LOL... that medical professional LOOK I suppose. Keep up the good work Dan...

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    1. You are special, Elaine. PERFECT is good - where do I from there?! :)

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  9. One hundred and one zeros! and if you add to that all of the times a person could be snuffed out, life is precious indeed! Nice series, Dan, and I will be following it!

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    1. Long time no hear! And James Bond only has two zeros. I know that you know how precious life is, for sure. I am complimented that you want to follow the series. Thanks!

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  10. I often sketch or take sneaky photos of people (put a fiend or relative in the foreground & pretend to focus on them!), but sketching your pharmacist while waiting in the queue is so funny! Great work.

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    1. Cathy - queue sketching is great - you ought to try it! My most recent queue - election day!

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  11. So--your At First Glances are women? And both look assertive. hmmmm.

    These works are really good, Dan. I especially like your pharmacist--I probably would have had to be in line for an hour to do that.

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    1. OK, Hallie, you have a good point. I like assertive women, what can I say? I have seen guys I've wanted to include in this series, but I've had the darnedest time getting photos! I need to go to an event with crowds or something. I need a full frontal photo - and I just can't stand in front of them and say cheese. It's been a challenge.

      Re the pharmacist, honestly when I am rushed I often do better because there is an excitement about it. Thanks!

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  12. Your pharmacist looks like a friend of mine but lives on the West coast of FL. Must be his double. Your sketches have gotten really good, I remember when you did "floating heads"; you must be able to sketch very quickly now. That shows me what practice can do. I have used Prismacolor, and Pitt pens by Faber-Castell both are acid free, lightfast, archival.

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    1. You are the second person that knows this pharmacist! He's a popular guy!

      Well, I still default to floating heads, which I have got to stop because I need to master hands!! And bodies have such expression too. I am definitely not the fastest sketcher in the world, but the practice has definitely done well by me - practice is the key.

      I have tried Pitt pens, and do not like them. I've only seen markers by Prismacolor - have to check them out, thanks!

      What I really need to do is buy another Lamy - lost, whoa is me.

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  13. I so admire anyone who can sketch in public! How you captured the pharmacist while in line is beyond me! He has that "familiar" look about him.

    I'm glad you'll be posting more often, it's always a treat to read your posts and see what you've been up to.

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    1. Well, "more often" seems to have flown by the waste side. It's now November 10th and I am just getting around to finally responding to all the wonderful comments. Thankfully, I do at least a little art every day, though, so that is good.

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  14. The detail on your standing lady is what I noticed first. The shading in her shirt, the lines, the crinkle of her jeans. Nice!
    I always enjoy your sketches too Dan. Looking forward to more.

    Elaine is one of my favorite bloggers! She knows her stuff and she's a great lady besides.

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    1. Yup, Elaine is great - I think there is a lot there we do not get to see too.

      Thanks for noticing the details - I consider every detail (with the unpredictability of watercolors contributing, of course). Thanks!

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  15. These sketches are really nice. It doesn't look like you have any trouble making your first mark--or the second. I do that too! Pretend I'm photographing buildings, but actually photographing the crowd. I always feel a lot sneaky--and think of the tribes you think you are stealing their souls with their image when you take their picture. Nevertheless,I love photographing crowds. Sound like a pen to forget. I don't like fade out--unless it's one of my granddaughter's tattoos. Now I have to go meet Elaine. You got me curious.

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    1. Your granddaughter has tattoos?! I feel sneaky too - like someone is going to know what I am doing and slug me one! It's funny, I've thought of the idea of soul stealing too, and it is true, you know, in my art - whether or not I try for a likeness, I always try for the soul!

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  16. These are excellent and fun sketches! And thought provoking numbers... Thanks for sharing!

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    1. My pleasure. I hope you know I made up the ones about the rabbits, ants and sand.

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  17. Ahhh, thanks for making me feel special. Your drawings are absolutely right on!

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  18. Hi Dan,
    Your drawing and writing are always so much fun. These drawings are inspiring, it's not easy drawing people...they move!

    I've been looking for archival and light fast ball point pens. I like the feel of a ball point pen, better than roller ball, gel or felt tip. But, you've convinced me, I'll get out my archival, light-fast set of Faber-Castell Pens. I like them, but I'll have to get used to them again. Thanks!

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    1. Yeah, that's the problem with people - they move, darned them.

      Is there such a thing as archival and lightfast ball points? I don't know! I thought I had found one (didn't dig too hard, liked it too much).

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  19. Great sketches as always. Glad to have you back Dan =)And those numbers..... oh! :D

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    1. Well, lately, like you, I seem to be gone and back, gone and back. I'm glad you're back too - three posts, wow! And for you engineers, these numbers are nothing!

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  20. This looks like it could become a really good series, Dan. It really works for me.

    My granddaughter and I tried it from a different direction: 2 parents, 4 grands, 8 g/gran, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048 ......

    we reckoned that in 20 we were related to more than everyone in the UK population!

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    1. Wow, I created a granddaughter-grandfather moment? I like that! I think I heard something the other day, that you don't have to go back to far and all of us - each and every one of us - are related.

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  21. I am enamoured by your style! And thanks for reminding me how damn lucky I am to be here. I sort of knew that...and I'm grateful each day that I wake up in the morning, but it's good to be reminded!

    Love the people at the baseball game earlier post; the pharmacist, oh lots of your paintings sing for me! I've become a new follower. Hope you'll post often.

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    1. Thank you so very much for telling me that my paintings sing for you! Wow! I can't tell you how nice it is to hear that! Thanks for joining my ragtag bunch of followers! It's so good to have you here. Thanks.

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  23. great post. incredibly freaky and fascinating about the chances of existence. love your single portraits (and everything else too for that matter)

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