I’m behind where I ought to be; only 23 people after two days. Yesterday I slowed down, took my time. As I did, I wanted it to be about quality over quantity— yet the challenge itself is all about quantity!
I tried a different approach for this first one— paint first, ask questions later. But when later arrived I decided not to go back in with ink at all; I rather like the floaty quality of it, so left it as is.
Above is one I drew earlier in the week out at the beach— the abandoned buildings at the end where Riis turns into the Rockaways. I painted it a few days later, and here, too, a new approach— a desire to be less literal about my use of color, or at least my placement of it. I like how the bleed of the G2 pen worked with the color.
More from the sketchbook with the paper I’m not keen to work on. The book is finished (enough). Here are the last few that were decent enough to post (even if marginally). Some work with a brush pen here, but those things require a light touch, so I need to work on that.
I only posted photographs while I was on vacation, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been sketching. I’ve been really trying to finish up this sketchbook, which has crap paper so I can get back to a Moleskine, haha.
Anyway, some of these needed some color; some needed tightening up. I just haven’t had time to assess and scan. Here are a few done over the past few days on various trains between Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Did you know that Matisse was going blind toward the end of his career, and resorted to cut paper instead of paint, so he could feel the shapes? I sometimes feel I can relate to him, in a small way— mainly in dim lighting. It’s an upsetting thing for a visual artist, to begin to lose the erstwhile sharpness, the detail. To have to rely upon lights and optical assistance to be able to even approach what your eyes have seen always, for decades.
It’s stressful, and somehow still surprising to me. I do see well in bright light with contacts. And fine in dim light, with glasses. It’s not a surprise, then, that I often rely on my accumulated inner library of gestures, angles, and details.
Below is a pic of the piece pre-inking, and a snapshot of the view from where I sat (after the sailboat in the drawing had gone). It’s only 6″x4″, so a bit too small for such a vista, but it’s good practice anyway.
I need to loosen up a lot more when sketching architectural things, be less literal. The finished piece is far too on-the-nose— timid, and lacking dynamics. My treatment of the buildings while inking flattened that expanse of the harbor. But learning happens through failing!Then I took the bike path to Red Hook, where I had a pint at Bait & Tackle and sketched just a few of the many, many nautical and taxidermy knickknacks. And finally, I headed next door to Ice House, where I did some sketches of people in the backyard. Those sketches in the next post, stay tuned!