Thursday, September 15, 2011

Selected Sketches

I recently spoke to a group of illustration students at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (a very well-behaved group). One suggestion I offered was to keep a sketchbook handy whenever possible, and to draw something every day.

I haven't always followed my own advice (note the lost years 1997-2003), but I've filled enough books to occupy a nice bit of shelf space in my studio: 
The first few, seen at the far left, are regular old spiral-bound notebooks, which in retrospect seems to have been a good choice. They weren't nearly as intimidating as a hardcover volume of archival paper.

Here's a representative example of a semi-conscious sketchbook drawing that spilled out one morning:
I like the image, though I have no idea what it might mean. There may be a gag buried in it, or perhaps it'll turn into a painting at some point.

A few weeks ago, I started doing quick sketches based on images I encounter in the newspaper. I read the New York Times every day anyway, so I've just added making a sketch from a news photo part of my morning ritual. Giving myself assignments with deadlines is a trick I use to force myself to actually complete something.

Here are some recent sketchbook pages that came from that self-imposed schedule:
They could probably have saved money by "converting" Port-O-Lets.

Honeyboy Edwards is generally acknowledged to have been the last of the original Delta bluesmen. Jack Vartoogian's powerful photo caught my eye that particular morning.

This drawing of Texas Governor Rick Perry is based on a photo that captured his annoying coyness and cynical embrace of willful ignorance. A friend recently remarked to me that Perry's stolen Michelle Bachmann's thunder as reigning crackpot in a crowded field of religious extremists and reality-deniers.

As an actual zombie, McConnell is well qualified to recognize something as DOA.
Nick Lowe is a longtime favorite. His new album, The Old Magic, is a beauty.

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