Saturday, February 28, 2015

People Practice

In my last post I commented on the strengths and weaknesses of the  Monologue Basics sketchbook, and mentioned that I liked using it for practice drawings. One of the things I always feel I could use more practice in is drawing people, and I've hit upon an easy way to find people to draw - I use the DVR on our TV.  It's easy to pause the action and do a quick five-minute sketch of a character, then move to the next scene and do another. It's a fun challenge to try to draw all the actors in a movie or TV series.

Drawn with colored Gelly Roll gel pens

These are all drawn in the Monologue Basics A5 sketchbook directly in ink, with no preliminary pencil sketch. It's really good practice, because I find myself being much more careful than when I have the option to erase.  I have to really look at what I'm drawing and analyze angles and relationships before I put pen to paper.

Drawn with a Pigma Micron 01 black pen

Sometimes it works better than others, but I don't stress over the irregularities and out of whack proportions. This is practice, and it's fun, and I'm learning and improving. That's what's important.
 
Drawn with a Pigma Micron 005 black pen

I want to get to the point where I can do a quick sketch on location without fussing too much.

Drawn with a Platinum Preppy pen with Platinum black ink

Drawn with a Platinum Preppy pen with Platinum black water soluble ink washed over with water

I put my skills to the test last weekend when my mother and I attended a Pittsburgh Symphony concert. Sketching people from life is worlds apart from drawing people off the TV, but I found that I just needed to slow down, take my time, and go with the flow. I sat in the third row and sketched throughout the entire concert. The first sketch looks kind of jittery and nervous, which is how I was feeling. ("Oooh, they're all moving their arms! Is anyone watching me? Oh no, the conductor is jumping all over the place! Eeek! I forgot that guy's hand, and I drew someone's foot stomping on the drummer's head!")

Drawn with a Platinum Carbon Desk Pen with Platinum Carbon ink  + watercolor

 Sketch #2 is much more relaxed. Maybe Beethoven was making me more mellow.

Drawn with a Platinum Carbon Desk Pen with Platinum Carbon ink  + watercolor

By Sketch #3, I felt like I was getting the hang of it.

Drawn with a Platinum Carbon Desk Pen with Platinum Carbon ink  + watercolor

I finished off the sketches with some watercolor the next day at home. I'm glad I got up the nerve to pull out my sketchbook at the concert. What a cool experience, to sit there doing what I love to do, listening to that wonderful music with one of my favorite people in the world, my mother.

Practice is great, but eventually you have to be brave and get out there in the real world.

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