In-Context: Just Go With It—Follow Your NoseJanuary 29, 2018
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.
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?