Cultivating the Sketching Habit (V)
Again, at the library with my son, I fit in sketching where and when I can, even if I am only sketching for twenty minutes at a time. A lot of people think you have to set large blocks of time aside to draw or paint. This can seem daunting to most people (self included) but if you set aside shorter intervals (15-30minutes) you loose the excuses that keep you from being creative:
(Author’s note: I have been fascinated with traditional ink painting as a form since discovering Gao Xingjian’s novels. –the author makes his principle living as a painter of traditional Chinese art). As a white artist I am sensitive to the idea of cultural appropriation, so I generally have shied away from trying to study or re-produce the form. As a general rule, I feel artists ought to be thoughtful about how their work borrows and is influenced by cultures outside their own. I may ultimately color this or tint it, since most of this type of painting was in color.)
Did a bit more sketching today while I was at the library with my son.
There’s only 3 images here, I was out at an event promoting the non-profit class and showing a few pieces at a vending table. So, I was sketching between interacting with people. The perfectionist in me would like to try and clean these up once I am back home –but I try not to let myself do that. Instead, I let these images simply be what they are: imperfect, incomplete, unfinished. They’re studies that might inspire further drawing or painting, but all in all, they’ll likely sit in a sketch book.
I try to encourage students to always be drawing. The practice keeps up your skill so it is there when called upon when you do commissions and your own studio work. My recommendation is you should match a twelve-to-one ratio of sketches and studies that get tucked away in your portfolio, to ever finished piece intended for a gallery or sale.
A higher ratio is better, but 12:1 is about what I aim for.
The first image is a composite:
Image: (above) clockwise from top left:
1. Tree, Dana Park
2. Sofet detail, abandoned building, Lark Street, Albany.
3. Commercial building, Delaware Ave., Albany.
4. Mobil Sign, Madison Ave, Albany.
After that I did a couple quick studies of attendees in the crowd.