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Saturday, February 6, 2010

It's not always as easy as putting pen (or pencil) to paper. For instance, despite generating thousands of drawings in my High School years, the last completed drawings -- even sketches -- I've done are dated July 2008. That's a LONG time ago.

When you spend your time doing "more important" art, drawing is easily left behind. Especially when the majority of your art happens on the computer, you can almost forget that your hands have the ability to do things other than type, set in/out points, etc.

The problem is that psychological development as an artist comes through understanding what looks right, what looks wrong, how your body interprets the artistic intentions of your brain. And drawing is the best way of expediting that developmental process. You can use pencil and be as messy as hell, erasing your whole drawing and starting again as you spot mistakes, or you can use pen or charcoal or markers or something that forces precision and confidence.

A few days ago my friend Kristen (she's a painter) and I vowed to spend more time creating. Wonderfully vague, of course, but the idea is to stop wringing our hands and make something, great or otherwise. She produced a wonderful charcoal portrait of our friend Lauren. I started with a rough 15-minute self-portrait:


It's not the most beautiful piece I've ever done, but I can see my mistakes. And I had to force myself to finish. That's progress. A few days later I started a different kind of sketch, more of the same if you're familiar with my previous work:

I'll post the finished piece when I'm done. And next time I'll move on to something more exciting! But this is a good place to start.

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