In-Context: Just Go With It—Follow Your Nose

January 29, 2018
Pen and watercolor sketch on Stonehenge Aqua Cold Press 140 lb. Watercolor paper (review of the paper coming in February).

Often one sketch will lead to another. The other day, the world turned on its end and I was feeling a bit dark. I did some rapid fire sketches of all sorts of monsters in thumbnail. I’d post them but you wouldn’t be able to tell what they are. Just know they were tiny and very dark, both visually and conceptually.)

I tend not to censor myself about these things. But I knew when I finished that I wanted to do some painting but I wanted it to be dark. 

I remembered a pose on Sktchy that one of the muses had posted—he was in some sort of ancient battle gear and had painted his face. I pulled it up and put my frustration with the day into that sketch. (See the first image in today’s post.)

I felt great when I finished. It was minimal, but dark visually and in theme. It allowed me to go WILD with the red paint, explore using the various greens I’ve been working with, and test some paper I was testing. It seemed natural that he would be talking about monsters after the day I’d had.

When everything clicks like this it’s a great feeling. Of course you want that feeling to continue. With sketching that’s simple—just make another sketch.

I returned to Sktchy and looked for another image to keep my mood going. I started sketching dogs on grid paper, but I stopped after a couple quick sketches. The dogs didn’t have the anger I wanted.

I started sketching angry dogs from my imagination. Wild snarling dogs with drool! That didn’t do it for me either.

The companion sketch in this page spread. A dog made more goofy looking and sketched on grid paper, then collaged in place before paint was added.

Then I remembered a wolfhound (deerhound? I can never tell the difference) I’d seen posted on Sktchy, so I went back and found it. A star decoration hung in the sunlit window in the photo’s background.

I did a sketch of that dog on grid paper, but I made him goofier, softer. I’d had it with drawing my imaginary angry dogs. I’d worked through to another space that seemed promising for sketching.

I cut the dog out of the grid paper and glued him on to the journal page opposite the warrior.

I already knew what he was going to say. The star in the background became a glowing planet and the dog’s face seemed lit by a campfire, much like the character in the first image.

It hit the mark for me. I had followed my nose right back to my sense of humor, while not ignoring my dark side.

I think that’s a useful way to spend 90 minutes or so don’t you?



    • Eleanor
    • February 20, 2018

    Congratulations for getting this up and running. I really missed getting your blogs!!!!!!

    1. Reply

      Eleanor, the blog has been up and running continuously. I’m sorry you didn’t realize that. You can come and visit any time and typically there are 2 or 3 new posts each week.

      What has not been working is the new post email notification, so subscribers to the blog who want to be notified when I post a new post so they can stop by and read it have not been receiving those posts.

      That aspect of the blog is still not fixed. So I hope that you will continue to stop by a couple time each week, or at least at the end of every week and just check out what is new.

      You can also learn of new posts on my Facebook feed since I always post a link there. Thanks for stopping by.

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