May 17, 2023
Tombow fudenosuke brushpen soft in a Hahnemühle Travel Journal.

Sometimes it is fun to sit down and draw stubble. Lots and lots of stubble.

I find this entertaining, and joyful. I find noting the growth direction, the length, the density—all fun.

But then I sat in the Bell Museum for a whole afternoon years ago, drawing every line of fur on a deer. This might not be for everyone.

The details that speak to us and interest us are engaging to draw. They capture our interest, extend our patience, allow us to breathe.

I have friends who draw the most involved and delicate and detailed drawings of leaves, or flower buds, or bark texture.

I rarely do subject matter like that. But I marvel at what they end up with. We can enjoy what other artists produce without being pulled into their orbit. 

Find what pulls your interest and sketch it. Repeatedly, unapologetically. You get to have fun drawing. In fact you need to allow yourself to have fun drawing. Then you’ll do more of it, and maybe even develop the patience to draw the details of a flower bud!

Question for the day: How can I render the individual dots and strokes of stubble while also creating a sense of value? (Just pen and paper and no other media.)

This is a question I have been asking myself over and over, for over six decades, in all sorts of situations and lighting conditions, with different pens and papers. On days when I’m happy, and on days when I’m grumpy (but then happy because drawing stubble always makes me happy). There are thousands of answers. Any one of those answers could be valid in a certain set of circumstances. And we get to work it out. How great is that?

Somedays I decide that the best way to answer this question is to pick up an ink wash or some watercolor—we can do that, change the parameters of the question. How great is that?

Something is calling out for your attention. Your job today is to listen.

    • Paul
    • May 17, 2023

    I just LOVE the sharp staccato rhythm of every distinct line you layed down on this one Roz!! You were definitely in the groove here👍👍. Just so lovely to see your unique style and quality of line🙏. Another one worthy of framing IMHO 😁.

    1. Reply

      Thanks Paul, I enjoyed this one so much. I know I was humming while I was sketching it. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I actually would put it on the wall but I would have to trip that gutter edge too close to the face to leave even a little tab in the book to hold the opposite page in. And I think I have sketched on the back. Sigh. maybe I’ll have to print it out, making a slightly larger background space in Photoshop first? On to the next sketch for now.

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