I have realized that by designing this project to succeed, I have assured that it will be sub par. This is not atypical behavior for me. The artwork I made in my undergrad years rarely met my expectations or showed what I was capable of. Deadlines made me nervous, so I often rushed through things. It took until graduate school, when I could plan out a project and create a timeline for it that worked with the goals and processes for me to produce anything I was really proud of.
That being said, fast sketching is one of my true joys in life. I love drawing things quickly. Sometimes you discover new things in doing this. You get to the essence. Sometimes it fails, yes, and you fuck up the drawing, but it only took a few seconds to minutes and you can make more!
It creates an adrenaline rush when I draw quickly. Sometimes when I’m sketching, I feel like I am flying or falling, the way it feels when you are dreaming those things.
Here are the limitations I created arbitrarily on this project, which will allow me to complete it over the summer. They also limit the quality of the doodles in some way:
- Drawing Small, around 7 squares by 7 squares on the graph paper for each image
- Drawing from the thumbnail images only–not viewing the pictures larger
- Drawing only with cheap pens (no erasure and only slight variation in line darkness.)
- Using only 1 watercolor brush that is rather large for the scale
- Drawing each one only once
- Using cheap, crappy paper that buckles, wrinkles and bleeds from page to page
Each of these cons produces a pro as well, however. And it’s not like I can’t change the rules or do this project again with a different set of tools, a different set of parameters. Drawing small and with a large-ish tool from the thumbnails forces me to abstract from the image and analyze the composition as a whole. Using cheap pen that can only make a couple of types of line makes each line precious and makes the images look more graphic in the end.
The speed at which I draw these allows me to get 10-20 done each morning. I wake up early just to work on our Etsy shop and to draw before I head off to my day job. I feel a small burst of satisfaction each time I finish one picture. They also make me giggle. The scratchiness of them turns serious photos into silly images. There is something smiley and bubbly about the quick gestures. I find myself smiling broadly while drawing, and that feels good, too.
When I have the time, I will isolate each image as a detail. Here are a few from yesterday and this morning.
TO BE CONTINUED…
What project will be up next, you ask? I don’t know… perhaps a series of “en plein air” (really, in the light of the computer… whatever the French is for that…) landscape paintings of all of your cover photos.