Friday, March 28, 2008

This isn't easy you know



Now I've gone and ruined my accordion sketchbook, trying to draw the dog and cat in one of their covoluted sleeping poses - from a photo up on the computer screen, as they always move the minute I start trying to draw them. I got both of these attempts completely wrong.


This was slightly more accurate, though the dog is too small, and his face a bit weird - I painted the big shapes first, then added the lines with my bamboo pen, (which isn't drawing as well as I'd hoped - I have little control over whether lines are thick or thin, or come out at all) and the values are all very bland - the dog and cushion they sleep on are rather similiar in tone, but Kenzo the cat could go much darker.

It's interesting to see today's Making a Mark post about mechanical and optical aids... I find myself feeling irritated and tense when sketching from photos, though they are definitely a useful tool when trying to remember features of a landscape, for instance - as long as I don't follow them too slavishly.

This sketch of Gucci (excuse the undignified pose!) that I did quickly after messing up the Fabriano was much more enjoyable, and I think is a lot more expressive in line and character. So - conclusion, I think drawing from life is my thing. I'll be happy to leave the photo-realism to others - for now, anyway. (I tend to make sweeping statements one week and back-peddle on them the next)

7 comments:

janie said...

The sleeping beauties are lovely but I do love the loose expressiveness of the last drawing.
I have been relying too much on photographs for my drawing and this post has reminded me to start looking around me ...step away from the screen..:)

Cathy Gatland said...

Yes Janie, I think one does lose confidence in drawing freely if you start making a habit of relying on photos - to me it feels more like a chore drawing from them. I'm almost always happier with real life process and results.

Helen's Art Work said...

The slightly off proportion doesn't bother me a bit... it's a very nice sketch. Also, thanks for the link to the accordian fold instructions. I had to make one right away though I haven't used it yet.

Helen's Art Studio said...

And thank's for stopping by my blog

Gillian said...

When Vonnie was on the dance team, the girls all made each other little accordion photo/memory folders. I'll have to go and find hers and look how it was done. Slightly differently, the paper folding in a diamond shape angle - great for a little gift idea. Perhaps I should take photos of it and share it... I don't know if it would work for watercolour paper being so much thicker... Anyhooo - love your Gucci & Kenzo sketches. Makes me miss Lily...

Cathy Gatland said...

Ja, do share it - I am making a memory thing for Nigel&Wendy from the whole of St.P's - need all the inspiration I can get!

africantapestry said...

Great sketching in both, but I love the second one with its free lines...it has so much movement and like Janie said, beautiful loose expressiveness! I too enjoy the spontaneity that comes from drawing from life..
Ronell