Started out the month sketching simple things at work, whatever was around me…
Then started drawing from photographs I’d taken around the city…
Also tried an exercise from an art book I’m reading. It said to draw with pen alone, no pencil at first; to allow for mistakes; to work fast, carelessly; to capture the gesture and mood and feel of things. I’ve been practicing with a black Paper-mate felt-tip pen on recycled copy paper.
As usual, started out sketching whatever was around me…
Also sketched from photos taken on my urban walks…
Sketched out directions for feeding the dog…
For posterity sake, sketched the view from our seats for the last SF Giants game of the 2016 post-season…
If they’re gonna lose so miserably, better to watch from home, curled up so no one can see you cry…
Successfully sketched every day this month. Early in the month, sketched two or three pages a night, making shapes and shading them. Over the past week, sketched one page each day.
A friend emailed a group selfie from his family trip in Sicily. Loved the classic background and their happy faces. Just had to sketch it.
Sat in the bath and looked long and hard at the faucet and the shower nozzle, at the bed frame and bandanna-covered lamp. Started to imagine the scene on the page, how it divides into thirds. That’s me in the tub on the far right, in the bedroom closet’s mirror reflection.
My office desk was a mess, as usual. Had a choice: Could either clean it up or sketch it. It’s still a mess.
Was late, hadn’t drawn all day. Just about ready to crash, forced myself to draw something — anything. Then these pens caught my eye, sprouting from the mug like the chopped stalks of a strange garden plant.
Parked outside this barber shop before picking up my son from school. Did a quick sketch, then followed up with a photograph. Early the next morning, before dropping off my son at school, left an anonymous copy at the barber shop.
Saw this crow in the supermarket parking lot. Loved its defiance, its standing boldly on the wires meant to keep the birds off the lamp. Snapped a quick photo with my phone, then sketched from that at home.
When I first thought of sketching stuff, I thought of sketching old Victorian buildings here in San Francisco. I just love looking at them. Had a few minutes before an appointment, so scratched this out in pencil, then finished up at home with a photo.
This has been too much fun! Can’t wait to start sketching October.
At first, everything was sketched with a plain mechanical pencil. Then I got some archival-ink pens…
I love how the ink makes things pop. Some shading stays in pencil…
I can also print things out and add color:
My son’s middle school in crayon…
Dolores Park, too…
I like drawing. It clears my head of words. It centers me in whatever I’m sketching. I move my hand in rhythm to my breath, follow my heart, and ignore that little voice in my head that says I can’t draw. When I can’t ignore it, I just agree, then go on drawing one breath after another.
So I’ve been drawing now for a week. Each time I start, I’m afraid I won’t be able to actually draw the subject. I arranged a banana, apple, and garlic clove on a curved platter, then looked at the arrangement for a couple days, certain I could never capture its image. I was absolutely certain I couldn’t do it. Finally, I just got to work and started sketching. After an hour, I had this (click on image for a larger view):
Today, with the SF Giant’s enjoying the best record in baseball at the All-Star break, I decided to draw a baseball glove. Again, I was certain I couldn’t do it. Convinced! But then I went to work. Here are the stages of development.
So often in life, we listen to that little voice of doom telling us we can’t achieve our dreams, can’t satisfy our desires. This week, I’ve discovered that my own little voice never goes away, never shuts up, not even when faced with these surprising results. Makes me wonder: How many times in life have I let that little voice hold me back from fully expressing myself? Too many, I’m afraid.
All my life, I’ve wished I could draw. For some reason, I never thought I could. Now that I’ve got time this summer, I took an online drawing course. Turns out, drawing’s not that hard! Just takes some time and a little concentration. Doing it, it’s nice to slow down, to breathe in rhythm with the pencil, to focus on something other than myself. Here are my first few attempts. Click on the image to see a larger view.