Friday, April 07, 2017

Sketchbook #2 - Be Positive and Other Lessons Learned

Here's sketchbook #2, as motivated by Art Before Breakfast. Here's a few observations about this go-around:

First, by the 3rd drawing in the book something clicked and I full embraced Danny Gregory's philosophy about "bad drawings." Sure, it's cheeky to write well that turned out terribly on the page, but it's not especially useful. Instead, I'm embracing Danny's approach that a bad drawing serves to teach you something. Rather than thinking: "wow, that drawing of a chair is horrendous," it's far more useful to think "look at that, I never realized that the chair is twice as tall as it is wide--who knew?"

This dovetails well with the thought that's been kicking around in the back of my head: why even bother drawing? If photo realism is what I'm after, then why not just use the camera in pocket? No, drawing (like photography in many respects) is about seeing the world in a new way. I've learned something about a chair I'd never known, even though I've stared at them my entire life. Being annoyed with myself until my drawings look "good" is just silly: my drawing aren't going to be photo-realistic, but they can be vehicles for learning things right now.

Second of all, you'll notice some drawings of our newest family member. For privacy reasons, I can't post his photo. But, I feel comfortable sharing these drawings, because fortunately, they look nothing like him. Or, put another way: despite what my drawings suggest, we are not providing foster care for a space alien.

Finally, if Danny Gregory is the voice of Yes You Can in the back of my head, Teoh Yi Chie is the voice of Here's How. For example, his tutorial on how to draw a Chinatown Street Scene is awesome: he emphasizes a few key guidelines that you can apply to your drawing with relative ease. It's just the right level of information to be informative without being overwhelming.

I've stitched up Sketchbook #3 and it's currently sandwiched between a few text books. In another day or two, I'll be ready to dive back in and start sketching again.

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