Take More Than One Look

July 8, 2022

When you’re sketching someone, whether it’s a month-long project like last year’s #MarchIsSketchAlunArmstrongMonth, or just someone you see on the street (if they stick around long enough) take more than one look.

Here’s a page spread from a hand-bound journal I made with Fabriano Artistico 90 lb. hot press watercolor paper. (8 x 8 inches square.)

In my quick sketches of other views on the verso page you can see me making notes about the shapes and angles that I’m looking at. I’m trying to work out what I need to get to capture this likeness. Since I work directly with ink, erasure isn’t possible (I don’t care for it anyway as it removes lines which tell you where not to go), so often the best course is to make lots of notes and really drum into my brain what it is I’m looking at and for.

And then look again and try to see those bits in a new position. All this information is still on your subject’s face. You have to recognize the information and the way it changes in the 3-dimensional world, in order to get it down on the paper.

Each time you get a piece of the puzzle it’s a little gift that you can enjoy whether you get the complete likeness or not. There’s always next time.

Go take more than one look today.

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