Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sketch Week - Micron Pen in Hand

Okay, this sketch looks okay on the surface, its balanced and the subject is identifiable. The pen isn't too bad, a bit underdeveloped on the metallic parts but overall, acceptable.

The hand has a number of things working against it. One thing I constantly fight is "what I know how to draw" vs. "what I see in front of me". This becomes a battle when doing quick sketch. I want to draw a cohesive image, and I'm constantly tempted to take semi convincing shortcuts.

The problem is, the viewer doesn't know what they are missing out on when a sketch is done like that. They see a basic, semi pleasing image and move on. When you stop to really look at your subject, you notice all sorts of subtle visual cues that lend a rich breath of reality to even the most basic of sketches.

Usually, these cues are awkward to look at because they are in the form of wierd angles or shadows. The skill of an artist can transform what in reality is taken for granted into a piece of art that is effortless yet complex and striking.

Anyways, back to the sketch. Where I got derailed was that I stopped looking at the hand when I put the majority of the layout in context to the pen. So, the remainder of my time on this sketch was spent negotiating from "what I thought I could draw" and "what is really there". That sort of tailoring only brings about a patchwork agreement between the two.

Some other things to note -

This is my left hand. I fell in love with the idea of doing the slight edge of nail with the bend of the pad beneath. I got carried away. My nails are never longish like the ones in the picture. I find this outcome to be quite amusing because it is so far from reality. I can't stand having more than a slight tactile edge to them.

My friend surprised me as I was drawing the thumb to wrist area - she startled me so the pen jumped and then I was involved in chatting with her, so I abandoned the sketch. This abrupt ending I thought would be interesting to show instead of some more completed piece. Sometimes life interrupts art and thats okay (especially if the art was kind of mediocre to begin with).

The pen in the picture is my absolute favorite. They cost about $5 and I buy a few at a time because I tend to wear the tips down quickly. I am constantly haranguing my children not to use my special pens. It is a tense day in my house when I find one on the couch with a missing lid. I like 03 or 01 points. I even keep a few almost dead ones so I can sketch in rough grey tones.

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