Wednesday, August 05, 2009

August 5, 2009
Still copying and learning from the pen and ink masters and combining these lessons with the search for a decent word balloon style:

This is from the Black & White Images: Fourth Annual Collection series, after J. Allen St. John. And I'm still noodling the shape and heft of word balloons:

Studying the artists Katherine Sturges Dodge, Will Crawford (the great guy in the muttonchops!) and Heinrich Kley. These sketches culminate at 9,678 bad drawings, with 322 to go. As I close in on the last 300 I wanted to take stock of what I feel are the weakest and strongest aspects of the drawings I've completed. For starters, I seem to have a decent skill at rendering faces:

This is from April 3, 2009. According to the excellent book The E-Myth Revisited, one of the problems of small business owners is doing the things they love to do (bake cakes for example) to the detriment of the things they need to do, but don't want to do (learn how to market the baking biz). So drawing faces is my baking problem. I love to do it and could do it all day long, but I need to study hands and feet, for example. Although I have made a couple half-hearted attempts at studying hands on this quest:

I still don't feel like I've done due diligence on hands so I want to spend some quality time on the last 300 concentrating on hands. Another area I'm weak in is horse legs:

The key to good horse hooves is to know where they go in the middle of a run. Notice that I drew some decent horse hooves in the middle of a run, then went back to doing a big face. Ha! Ed Borein was an expert at this as were the horse knowers—Remington and Russell. Need to spend some quality time getting this right.

And, of course, this all needs to be Free Hand. A photo projector is the devil's tool. It is so tempting to use but it ruins more illustrations than it has ever helped:

And in addition to century plants and saguaros and a sympatico word balloon style, I want to concentrate on sharp, clean corners with strong scene composition:

Now, this is difficult work. Why? Because I don't want to do it. I want to draw faces all day (and bake cakes!). Gee, I wonder if ol' Publius has anything to say about this?

"There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly."
—Publius Terentius Afer

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