Friday, August 20, 2010

Not Needing An Excuse

[Belated Post]

After rummaging around the internet a few days ago I remembered that I had not spied the comments on the web log in a while and decided to screen them to see what has been said for the past few weeks.

First off, thank you all who have replied. It is nice to read through them even if I am a bit late. Things are going well and it is encouraging to read your responses to some of my posts.

One of the comments in particular struck me from Steve about what I should be doing with my idle time while I wait for classes to start. “Go draw something you clod,” is what he said (not in so many words of course, I am just paraphrasing the gist of it). That there is some fine advice, so last night after I returned from spending some time with a few volunteers who were passing through town I got out the mechanical pencil, sharpener, and my sketchpad for some honest to goodness sketching time.

A few factors here though. I don't have much to draw at night since my furnishings here at the campus are temporary and what I have with me is just not that interesting to draw. A bottle of sunscreen? My water filter? They just do not inspire me much. I was left with my well-worn shoe as the subject. The second aspect of drawing in the evening (sun sets here at just about 6:15 every day) is that my light source is a pitiful energy-conserving fluorescent bulb, maybe 60 watts of ugly, blue-white light. All this is to say that I am giving myself the best defense possible for not turning out a masterpiece.

After about an hour and a half I was reasonably close to finished. My pencil was an H, which means the graphite is a bit hard and shows lightly on the surface. In the dim light it looks like I have a nice dark drawing, but the natural light of the next day will probably reveal a very gray picture. My art teacher in freshman year would pick up a piece of art by one of his students, hold it flat like he was carrying a serving tray as if to weigh the work with his ever-knowing hands and then mull out loud, “This one doesn't have enough pigment on the paper, don't you think?” His coy way of saying you could stand to go a bit darker on this one. That is what I think of this drawing tonight. The shoelaces I don't think came across clearly enough either, but that is all right, I did something that I can save and bring back with me when I am done.

Thanks for the suggestion, and if anyone has any questions about what I am doing, try to leave them in the comments area and I will get to them as I see them. Here is the masterpiece:


Phineas said...


It's been a while since I used a camera on a vacation; I stopped taking one because I was spending most of my vacation looking through the viewfinder.

On my last trip (Alaska), instead of taking a camera I took my sketchbook. Any images that I wished to capture needed to be drawn. I feel that this made for a better vacation overall: I spent no time fussing with the camera and I have numerous sketches from my trip.

Of course you're not on vacation, but you should budget at least one of your off days to do a little drawing in your sketchbook. Draw the new digs from the road. Draw the place where you'll be teaching. I think that you'll find that a drawing is worth a thousand photographs (isn't that how the old saying goes?).

D.Boyer said...

And in the end, I might actually improve a bit my sketching abilities. Thanks for the nice words and the encouragement. It is also an awesome way to meet people who are out and about. "What are you doing?" "Just passing time. Sit and watch."