Thursday, June 23, 2011

365 Day 174

making a new "automatic" drawing in my relief printmaking class sketch book

This afternoon I went to choose a mat and frame for the relief print I made for the all ages student show at Art & Ideas. It will be ready to pick up on Sunday. I need to take it to class on Monday night to turn it in. I am very excited about this. I really really like the frame and the mat is a great color. I got UV protected glass for it, too. And they will put a wire on the back instead of the sawtooth hanger. I can't wait to see it!

This week we are supposed to make some more drawings in our sketch book. Tonight I thought I would document how the "automatic" drawing technique works for me.

Obviously, I start out with a blank page in the sketch book that Shaqe Kalaj gave us at the first class. We use thin Sharpies -- no erasing.

I tend to start at the upper left corner of the page and hold the pen really loosely with my thumb and index finger and let it sort of dangle and hit the paper as it wants to. I try not to do any conscious guiding of the pen. I seem to have the best luck when I go diagonally down the page from the upper left corner to the lower right.

The pen touches down on the paper, sometimes it bounces off, sometimes it just makes a dot...I try to let it do whatever it wants to do.

Pass number one.

Then I turn the sketch book once, clockwise.

Pass number two...working again from upper left corner and more across and down with the book in this direction, down to the lower right.

Give the book another clockwise turn.

Pass number three. At this point the sketch book is upside down. Again, starting at the upper left corner and coming down diagonally to the lower right.

Turn the book one more time clockwise.

Pass number four. Repeat the sideways/diagonal marking of the page.

Now I slowly rotate the sketchbook all the way around, trying to find shapes or creatures.

I was having trouble seeing anything in there. Nothing.

Method #2 -- unfocus my eyes and rotate the book slowly.

OH! A pair of legs -- bent knees down to the shoes.

And LOOK -- there are two eyes and a mouth...and the shape of a face.

And a tail...and what's that -- a WING???

I am telling you, I would NEVER in a million years think of drawing this.

And there is a new creature -- some sort of winged super hero.

I would NEVER have been able to draw the legs and shoes...never get them even/symmetrical. I could never have drawn this guy coming down from the sky/flying. The way his tail is fluffed upwards, his downward glance, the way his wings are outstretched...just the right proportion to his body.

This "automatic" drawing technique just amazes me. And I have William Hessian to thank for showing me how he does it. I do it differently than he does, but I start with the same basic just-barely-holding-the-pen thing.

From here I will take this to class and work on it. The things Shaqe has been helping me with -- the letting go of my rigid ideas, filling in more and more with little details, letting things come in more intuitively...they are all making their way into the way I am seeing things and working with materials...and it is carrying over into other art I am working on, too.

I LOVE this class!!! I highly recommend it!

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