Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sketchy.

So, that other resolution, it’s kind of lame in a way, but shutup, this is my blog and I will be lame if I want. You know how snarkydork is part of that project 365 and she takes a photo every damn day? And she did that nablopomo thing? And she posted every damn day? Well, I am too lazy to do that. But I figured it would be good for me if I could do one thing every damn day (and for the record, I’ve already screwed up and missed a few days). So see, I am a…draw-er. I draw things. But I am purely digital. As in, I only draw on the computer. I don’t use pens or pencils or paper, just bits and bites and béziers. I don’t use a stylus or a tablet (but I did buy one, so that’s going to have to change a bit) just a mouse. That’s just how I do it and I like it that way. But I got to thinking that while that is great and all, I often find myself faced with a blank screen. I’ll know what I want to draw but I can’t get my mind around how I am going to get there. And it’s frustrating.

So I resolved to make a sketch every day (and as I said, I already screwed that up and missed two or three days, but I’ll make that up, I promise!). So yeah, big deal, whatever, there are people who sketch all the time, you say. True, true. But I am not one of them. I tend to go from idea to project, with nothing in between. That’s fine too, I think of what I want to draw, I tweak it in my brain until I can visualize what I want and then I sit down and I do it. Except, you know, with the getting older and all, sometimes it doesn’t go from “here” to “ there” so easily.

The thing is, this is something I have done before. When I was in college and taking all kinds of artsy-fartsy classes, I drew every damn day. Sketches, costume designs, magazine layouts. And since I was doing it every damn day, I decided that if I also added in one sketch for myself, like my cartoon characters say, then I might actually get better at it. And I did it. And I got better. And then I graduated and I didn’t do it anymore. And then I learned how to draw on a computer and I never looked back and here I am.

So, I’ve been sketching every damn day (with the exception of those few days that I forgot). It’s pretty much the last thing I do every night and mostly it’s been ideas for a personal project. And so far, it’s helped. Things that I just couldn’t approach on the computer suddenly became crystal clear on paper. And now I can see in my mind how they can be constructed with my trusty mouse (and eventually my stylus and tablet). It’s not that I didn’t know this method before rather, I had gotten out of the habit. I like drawing on the computer so why would I draw with a pen? And granted, there have always been the little reminder sketches and jottings but not the dedicated sketching. And I think that goes back to the college art classes of sketch journals (5 sketches a day, every damn day!) and to being told by that art teacher that my sketches were too “sketchy”. But that’s the point here. It’s not a finished drawing, it’s not even something I am going to scan into the computer to trace. It’s just mental reference. The idea that if I put a circle here and a square here, then I can make…something.

It’s not revelvatory, it’s not deep. It’s just a sketch. And that’s the step I was missing.

And now, here is a surfing whale. This was not sketched beforehand. But it's a whale. And it's surfing.

4 comments:

acmcclendon said...

hey, i recognize that! i was thinking of turning mine into a card - you could do the same! i couldn't figure out how you did the flowers.
you are so cool.

steph said...

i don't do anything every damn day. except eat.

Jodi said...

I've struggled a lot with the photo thing already. Not so much to take a photo, but to get one uploaded, labeled, etc. That's why I chose that particular group though. Unlike some others, they are VERY flexible!

Very cool sketch, by the way!

Miss Sassy said...

I love the whale.

I'm such a loser at my blog lately. Plus, I've been meaning to send out stuff from a contest I held in September and haven't finished yet. September!!! Oh shoot, you are one of the people I need to send to. Please know the hold-up is that I am making part of what I'm sending. And I am super slooow about it.