February 9, 2020
It’s been over a month since I made some changes in my life. I’ve had a few struggles adjusting but at this point it has become normal. Most of the time spent at home is upstairs in my little apartment. The section my bed and desk are in has 10 windows so it’s easy to fill with sunlight or even over cast light. Just that little bit helps tremendously. I try to remember to crack one of the windows a bit to hear the outdoors and to help air things out a bit. Single dude and two dogs living in a small space, it needs to air out more than a little bit. Candles help too. Todd spends a lot of time with his head rested on the windowsill smelling whatever it is he smells… probably squirrels, his piss and shit, as the window overlooks the backyard.
I mentioned in my last post that I’ve taken up drawing. I’ve switched from my iPad to paper to allow more time away from LCDs. I’ve got in the habit of visiting an arts store on Main named Blick. The full name is Dick Blick, seriously. His name sounds like slang for an STD. Anyway they normally don’t have what I’m looking for but it’s nice to go, look around, and get my eyes used to it. When I visit stores, or just new places, after a few visits my head starts to adapt and I can start looking around, slowly and in small chunks without doing too much damage. The more I visit the easier it gets, it just takes a lot of visits and time. It’s an investment. Back to drawing…
I got a drawing board for my desk. It’s mobile which allows me to either work or draw at it. I ordered a light for it which should be here tomorrow. My room’s lighting makes it a little hard to keep shadows off the page. Hopefully the light will help with that.
I also mentioned I’ve been trying to learn to use colored pencils, those things that never looked good and your parents only got them because they didn’t leave stains like markers, which is what we really wanted. Surprisingly hey’re a legit thing now. There are “professional” grade which when bought individually cost a few bucks a piece. I bought a few yesterday that were $4/pencil. That’s a latte. They come in wax and oil based. Some get snooty and call it painting, not drawing. I draw. Here’s a snow leopard drawn by one of the artists I follow on youtube and patreon. It’s legit, sold for $800. She has the full video available of her drawing it, hair by hair. Colored pencils can render photo realistic images or look like an oil painting. Now, in my older age, I’m a fan because they don’t leave messes and stains like the other mediums… full circle.
It’s taking a long time to really “see” the thing I’m drawing. So far I always draw from a photo. I think I’m programmed to look at something simplify it down to a basic form like a line or circle but the reality is it’s neither. Nothing in nature is a straight line or circle. I’m having to unlearn the most basic observations and assumptions I have of the thing in front of me. I wouldn’t call it fascinating, more like maddening with the occasional “ah ha” moment.
Below are 2 drawing rendered from the same photo (which is the 3rd). The first doesn’t have any depth and is mostly white, which no part of him is actually white. It’s all sorts of creams, beiges, greys, and pinks. The second is my latest attempt from this week. It took about 4 hours. On the board it has a lot more pink/red in it than in the photo. His hair is so fine his pink skin is almost always showing through in one way or another. I’m still struggling getting the stripe of shade down the middle look right. The third is the original photo. It’s surprising how much variance and detail there can be in fur and how much of that variance needs to be replicated in order to trick the eye into thinking a drawing looks 3 dimensional. I’m on the upside of that hill, making it too complex. Hopefully, one day, I’ll crest and figure out how to simplify.