Direct Drawing

6 April, 2016. Today I post a few random sketches. They’re not really linked together by place or subject, or even time frame. In fact the only reason I scanned them together this evening is because they happen to appear sequentially in my sketchbook: they represent (a) the fact that I’ve taught art more than made art over the past few days and (b) that I’ve had to play “catch as catch can,” slipping in some fairly quick sketching, given that opportunity has been limited.

After scanning them I also realized another thing that connects these sketches: No pencil. Each of these are direct sketches made without benefit of an underlying graphite sketch. Even though working direct in ink usually means the drawing is less faithful to life, it often results in a drawing with energy. The guy at the top of this post was just a fellow I saw this evening, eating dinner and drinking beers with his wife at a local pub. I’m pleased with how the scribbled lines bring out a range of values, as well as the texture in his face and beard. The clothing feels rumpled to me. The environment feels dark, but not forbidding. I like that this simple sketch accomplishes so much.

This fellow was sitting on a bench outside a different pub. Super fast sketch, the idea being to capture the gesture and hope for the best with the likeness.

A few days ago I visited Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The architecture in the small, hilly village is eclectic and diverse and often built right into the side of a hill. There’s not a flat spot in town – not one! Walking along the sidewalks is always a hike up or down a steep incline. Stopping to make a quick sketch at this location was also an opportunity to catch my breath!

Another simple sketch, which kind of reminds me of a children’s book illustration.

I find each of these to have a sort of simplistic charm. Unlabored. They are what they are, no more and no less. Just sketches.


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