Disagree with Yourself Now and Then

June 14, 2021

This is a quick sketch I made while watching “Dead Still.” (I’ve already written about how much I enjoyed the first season of this historical crime show centered around post-mortem photography).

I wanted to put in values quickly and I used vertical lines.

My note at the bottom of the page says I should have left the hatches out and used washes.

You know what? My Fresh Eye today disagrees with that.

I love those lines. They have energy and a bit of quirkiness. And they pull their value weight.

Go ahead and disagree with yourself now and then. That’s one of the benefits of using your fresh eye!

    • Bonnie Getz
    • June 14, 2021

    Hi Roz,
    I enjoyed watching your work on Heidi the dog. I found that personally, when I sketched and used watercolor, I labored too long on the piece. Later when I did another stretch of my dog Bailey, using the Pentel alone, the piece was somehow more to my liking. However, I wasn’t having trouble with the nose, but with the eyes. I spoiled it, by reworking the eyes. Maybe the piece was more to my liking because of what you said, I was drawing my dog. Thanks for the demo.

    1. Reply

      Bonnie, you might start writing a couple notes in your journal on the pages where you do your sketching, notes about what you thought were successful, and what specific things you need to work on. In that way over time you’ll find out what is going on about your preferences, but at the same time you’ll have concrete things you can work on for improvement in any of your subject matter.

        • Bonnie Getz
        • June 14, 2021

        Do you use the same Pentel pen to write that you draw with? Your ink seems much darker than mine. I like your printing. I write too large and have a lot to say, I’m concerned that I will run out of space.

        1. Reply

          Bonnie, typically I do use the same brush pen I sketched with to do the writing on that page spread. Here’s an example. It’s simply practice with the brush pen that allows me to write small-ish and readable. (That link image will not blow up because it is pre-2017 before the blog platform switch, but you can still see it well enough to read.)

          Sometimes I use other pens as well

          In that image, which is post-RWU platform change and will blow up. I used the same pen to sketch as I did for the writing of the main heading on the verso page at about mid-page, and the day and time. HOWEVER I used a smaller brush pen for the text at the top of the verso page.

          Why? because I like to play with different pens, and text for me is like Typography in design, you want to play with it and different size relationships.

          Give it a try for yourself. Think about what might be a featured quotation or heading on your page, and what might be text. Use pens with different boldness to differentiate them, as well as different sizes on the page.

          See this page spread for an example.

          The more you play with different pens you’ll find the ones you like best and you’ll find the ones that will write small enough to get what you want to say on the page.

          You might also think about letting go of fitting all your words on one page—continue your text onto the next verso page of the next page spread. Write in a narrow column on the left to finish out your thoughts. Later that day or the next, whenever you pick up the journal simple start drawing on the remaining portion of the page spread.

          Or if that doesn’t work for you, when you reach the bottom of a page and run out of room for text, turn to the back of the journal, flip the book upside down so you can write “forward” in to the back of the book, and continue writing until you finish. Begin with something like, “Continued from first entry on June 3, 2021.” And on the page you started, write at the bottom of that page—”continued at the back of the book.”

          Now you never have to worry about how much you have to left to write. I’ve had years of writing text (copy) to fit a particular space so it’s second nature to me, you can learn to do that with practice, but if it doesn’t fit exactly don’t sweat it. It’s your journal.

          If you really want only text on that first page and not continued, put a piece of tracing paper of your page spread and write out the text you want to write so that it is in columns wrapped around your image. (I do this simply by writing, again because I’ve had practice and I’m not worried about things all working out exactly).

          If you have too much to say, go back on your tracing paper and revise your text until it will fit. Then copy all your text finally onto the actual page spread and throw your tracing paper away, as it was only useful as an editing aid. Then you don’t have to continue your text on another spread or at the back of a journal.

          But keep in mind that the last option takes a lot of time—do you really want to spend all that time fussing with the text? Or ultimately is it more straightforward and productive if you simply write and run over onto the next page or to the back of the book? Then you’re getting your spontaneous, unedited self, which I think is great to have in a journal.

          Neither is “right.” You just have to keep trying something until you find something that works for you.
          Have fun in the discovery.

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