Sketching or Drawing?
Yesterday I got together with Ronell to do some drawing. We’ve both been feeling that over the summer we have gotten into the habit of doing lots of quick sketches, and it’s become difficult to slow down, put in more detail, work on correcting angles, etc.
So we decided to concentrate on a still life and draw it in black and white (pencil for me, charcoal for Ronell). We worked for 2 hours, which was quite enough for both of us yesterday. Ronell wasn’t well, but I have no excuse except a maxed-out attention span.
And then we got into a discussion about whether or not we’ve made progress in our drawings in the last year, and what constitutes a drawing as opposed to a sketch, and other earth-shaking issues.
It feels good to spend a little more time on a subject, but I suspect this is still in the sketch category. Interestingly, I actually prefer the results I get with just a few lines. I feel that my drawing has, in fact, improved a tiny bit in the past year, just because I seem to get where I want to go with less stress. That doesn’t mean I don’t put down some very wrong lines when I start though. In Ronell’s work, I thought I could see a distinct affirmation of her artistic personality compared to drawings done a couple of years ago, but she wasn’t quite sure she agreed with me.
Here’s my still life – done with a 2B pencil. I went in this morning with a 4B to reinforce some of the very darkest bits. I realize that it’s sort of lacking in personality, but it’s just an exercise.
I’m also getting motivated to work on some more large-scale portraits. I find that it’s helpful to do preliminary sketches first. This one is from a photo taken by my husband of a random person watching the tall ships in Rouen this summer. This is definitely a sketch, because it’s sole purpose is to help me understand where I want to go with this.