Getting Something Down On Paper (And Another Eyebrow Update)

June 22, 2016


Left: Quick Platinum Carbon Felt-Tipped Brush Pen Sketch of Dick in the TV Room, using up leftover gouache—I really needed to put out more blue to keep my mixes consistent, but I wanted to keep going. Shinola Sketchbook 8 x 9.5 inches turned vertically so the spread becomes 16 inches tall. I'm playing with scale in this test journal.

Sometimes it's late at night and Dick wants to go to bed and I want to paint and we sort of compromise. By that I mean, he stays up and I sketch him. So he compromises. But I compromise too by working at ultra high speeds and not worrying about "errors" and not stopping to put out new paint!

I always find that when I let go of the control of unlimited time I get something that has visual interest or a suggestion of a way forward. So despite some proportion and angle issues I really enjoy the drama of the lighting in this portrait and the very quick marks I made on the surface for hair, beard, and shirt texture. Those marks, seeing them now, just make me happy all over again as I remember the moment I decided to make them, and relive the delight of seeing them work for me.

It's always fun to get something down on paper.

This is another page spread from the Shinola SKETCHBOOK (not to be confused with their notebook which has lighter weight paper) that I have been testing.

I also wanted to show you this image because it shows something I have yet to get accustomed to in this book. The book bulges a bit more than I'm used to at the gutter. Most of the time I can get spreads to scan flat, but when I'm holding the book and working with it vertically like this, that little bit of bulge that I have to work around sometimes distracts me from my proportions.

By the time this post goes public I'll have completed the Shinola Sketchbook I've been experimenting in. I'll probably have started formulating my thoughts about it. While the gutter lumpiness (which effects only certain spreads and signatures) isn't a deal breaker for me, I know it might be for some, so I mention it.

As I near the end of the test sketchbook and write this I know I'm getting used to it and also don't care about it. I've enjoyed working on the paper too much. Also the 8 x 9.5 inch size is what I consider a perfect size—whether the book is made commercially or by hand (i.e., by me).

Expect a full review of this commercially bound sketchbook in the near future.

    • Kathleen
    • June 22, 2016

    These last two sketches of Dick have been fantastic…fascinating technically…just awesome to look at in detail! Wow!

    • Irene
    • June 22, 2016

    Wow is right! I just can’t stop looking at it, especially close-up. Your lines, values, colors – there’s a lifetime of practice in there! Thank goodness Dick compromises. 🙂

  1. Reply

    Thanks Kathleen, I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed them and appreciate the note.

  2. Reply

    Thanks Irene for the kind note. I hope future practice can slow down just a little bit!

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