Piecemeal Sketches

June 6, 2013

130425_PatriciaProjectRunwayLeft: Sketch of contestant on "Project Runway" on a 9 x 12 inch sheet of Strathmore tan drawing paper using the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and washi tape.

On Spread 19 (4.06.13) of my 2013 Fake Journal my character writes about her new style: Piecemeal.

That was actually something that I started doing a little before Fake Journal Month and the conversation is based loosely (by that I mean I've left out all the cussing and other banter) on a conversation Dick and I actually had. (I share many points of connection with my fake journal character this year—though not the crucial ones people seem to focus on.)

But "Piecemeal Style" is still and live and kicking for me. I did a piece the other day that grew to 22 x 30 inches by the time I was finished. (One friend has posited that they are a cry for help in times of stress, but I actually just think they are jolly good fun, and it's clear that friend doesn't much like the end result, which is fine, because friends don't have to like everything I do, and life would be pretty darn boring if they did.)

I can't scan the 22 x 30 inch piece, but I thought you could enjoy this one I made while watching "Project Runway" in April. 

This drawing is actually a sub-category of "Piecemeal Style." Normal "Piecemeal Style" involves the constant adding, with visible tape, of additional acreage of paper as the drawing grows. Today's image is more "Piecemeal Repair," which is just as fun. As in regular "Piecemeal Style" no attempt is made to hide the additions.

I'd completed this sketch but there was something off about the eye and it was too late at night to draw another sketch. Instead I taped down a piece of paper, AKA a "patch," and then redrew the eye. The top piece of tape was added after the eye was drawn because the tape repells the PPBP ink for quite awhile. 

Why? You might ask.

Well as my character said, and I agree, "Because it's fun."

Do something fun today. Invent a whole new style for yourself.

If you want to see more examples of "Piecemeal Style" you can check out the video flip through of my 2013 Fake Journal. You'll see examples on spreads 3, 13, 15, 18, 19, 21, 25 ("Subtle Piecemeal Style" because the tape has been pretty much painted over, but still lends such a wonderful texture in close viewing), 26, 32 (the man buried beneath the dog—she's just painted right on top of the spread, though a patch of paper was prepositioned where her eye was going to go, but it's not "Piecemeal Style"), 33, 41,42, 46, 48, 50, 51 (the dog Shirl is "Seamed Piecemeal" which is another variation—the taping is done on the non-working side of the drawing so you have the disruption of the seam or join, but not the distraction of the tape), 52 (the cleric is also "Seamed Piecemeal"; both Shirl and the cleric were created early in April while the style was still evolving, they just ended up falling late in the book), 53, 55, 56, and 57 (my favorite, because of the many jigsaw puzzle bits of paper I put together while I was sketching.)

  1. Reply

    well for what it is worth- textile designers have used a method like this to change designs historically. Often mortising a piece of paper into a larger design ( from the backside looking kinda seamless–it takes a bit of practice to finesse the thing)is a traditional method when an alteration was needed. SO I say bravo for continuing the tradition! the fact that you allow the viewer to see the shift is cool because it shows how important process is to good drawing!

  2. Reply

    Ellen, thank you for letting me know this about textile design. I love hearing this about Piecemeal Repair. It’s actually something I used to do all the time when I focused on doing photorealistic drawings. I would sketch on yellow tracing paper, layers and layers, correcting on each layer and then make a final sketch based on all the corrected layers. I rarely do this type of highly finished drawing any more, preferring to just work in pen and get “as close as I can” with one go and leave it at that. But since I’d been doing so much of the regular Piecemeal (adding and growing drawings) it seemed a good way to fix one irritating misstep in this sketch. (There are others, but over all with the eye patch it sort of looks like the contestant.)

    I think going forward I will experiment more with both of these approaches. Regular Piecemeal because I just seem to be going larger and larger and so I need to add more paper, and I kind of like the fact that the washi tape is not archival and the whole mess will eventually disintegrate; and Piecemeal Repair, because I need to stop staying up so late—sometimes I need to just fix something and move on to bed!

    I’ve seen art restorers put canvas patches on the back of a painting and work to make the patch fix with the rest of the painting in the way you describe for textile artists. And long ago I had a lovely pair of lined woolen slacks that I sliced with an X-acto knife while cutting a comp (this is when I worked at a publishing company and wore more than khakis to work every day) and I was so unhappy (they were my favorite pair of slacks) that I took them to a dry cleaner who did repairs and his tailor fixed it as you are describing, taking a small piece of fabric from the hem to weave in to the patched area. I got many more years of wear out of those pants. (And I was a lot more careful with my X-acto blade! I was lucky I didn’t cut deeper into my leg.)

    As for showing how important process is, well I believe it is, but I really hope that people understand that you can always look at something and tweak it. (Without staying up late and doing a whole new drawing!)

    I’ve been somewhat sleep deprived and I’m focusing on fundamentals of life.

    • jacki long
    • June 6, 2013

    Just enjoyed every second of your video flip. Fabulous! Each page a gem, and the music selection was perfection! Just when I think I know you and your style, you blow me away! I thank you so much for sharing your talent. Your skills are intimidating yet inspiring, and a gift to us who watch. Thank you Roz!

  3. Reply

    The eye patch is perfect. And I’m with you, I’ve lately made peace with pink. Maybe after 50 years of resisting anything associated with feminine weakness, I can now embrace the beauty of its color without feeling overly vulnerable. Anyway, the pink washi tape in your piecemeal sketch above couldn’t be more fitting – love it!

  4. Reply

    Jackie, thanks for your kind comments on my 2013 Fake Journal (which uses so much Piecemeal Style).

    I’m glad you enjoyed it and I hope you are sketching away in all your spare moments!

  5. Reply

    Mary, while I don’t think I ever attributed “feminine weakness” to the color pink I do think that I associated a sort of “blonde, ‘Barbie™,’ bimbo, stupidity-stereotype” to the color pink with which I didn’t want to be associated. At least as an 8-year-old that was already my assessment. So while other girlfriends might simper and say their favorite color was pink, I just had to be the contrarian and say, “Red, blood red” (and of course go on and define what I meant by blood red—I was a bit of a ghoul even at an early age).

    I think what we learn as we get older (and are thinking people) is that stereotypes are simplistic shorthand that can keep us from discovery, whether we buy into them, or avoid them like the plague.

    I’ve made a conscious effort since the age of 20 to not judge women based on their dependence on pink, but have always looked for other clues as to their character when profiling them; so I haven’t been overly damaged in my relationships by my avoidance of the color.

    But until my recent run-in with the Gelli Arts Printing plate and the use of cheap acrylic paints in tints I haven’t really given pink much of a chance.

    I have, probably like you Mary, based on your comment, complete immunity from anyone thinking that I’m vulnerable in any way, shape or form.

    And of course now that that is totally established and I came in contact with Pink again, well the love affair began.

    I can also see that I’ve been a closet “pinkster” for decades, as my favorite cool red is of course Daniel Smith’s Quin Pink (which reads as a cool red undiluted); the walls of my favorite rooms always have a habit of ending up peach (hmmmmmm—not on the orange end at all); and my other favorite colors include a range of magentas which when diluted result in, of course pinks.

    Thank you for your own heartfelt assessment of pink in your life as it has helped me look closely at my own journey.

    I’m glad you like that pink Washi tape.

    I have to admit that my delight in something so non-archival as Washi tape has caught me also by surprise. I limit my collection of it by avoiding all vendors! (But did you know it also comes in sheets? I saw it in a catalog, I swear it. And no I won’t be buying any, but I’m just saying…)


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