Changing It Up: When Your Drawings Aren’t Working—Part III

September 2, 2011

110726DoginSquare Left: Quick Prismacolor sketch of a dog, with a shaded background and some paint and marker for a border. Note the laid texture of the paper in the Exacompta Sketchbook.

(Parts I and II of this series on how I selected a medium and approach for fast pet portraits for Paws on Grand appeared on Monday, August 29 and Wednesday August 31, 2011 respectively.)

By this point in my sketching preparation I'm almost thinking my best bet for quick portraits of live squirming dogs is to tear up and use the paper from an Exacompta Sketchbook because I'm enjoying the paper so much.

But I'm also bothered by the fact that in working looser than I normally would the drawings don't seem complete for me. And I begin to wonder what else I "should" be doing to them.

They don't seem to be "me." And I need some way to put some of my energy in them. This is an indication to me that I'm not there with what I'm trying to achieve and that I need to push more. And that I may need to push more in several different directions. I begin to wonder if I have time to work out the bugs of a quick colored pencil approach before I have to put it to use in 8 minute increments.

It's good to worry about what the client wants but it's also important to listen to what you need as an artist.

Above: the full page spread from the sketchbook, includes a sketch of a Boston Terrier from one of my dog park photos.

Because of this urge to put some of myself back into the sketches I turned momentarily away from the colored pencils and returned to pen (Faber-Castell Pitt Artist's Calligraphy Pen) and some gouache.

Above: These sketches were executed before the previous page spread, but are representative of the bouncing back and forth I did for a short period of days as I thought about issues of looseness, speed, and whether or not I wanted to include any washes of color.

 (Still more to come in a future post…)

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