sketch! the non-artist's guide to inspiration, technique, and drawing daily life

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Page 1: Sketch! The Non-Artist's Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life
Page 2: Sketch! The Non-Artist's Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life
Page 3: Sketch! The Non-Artist's Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life
Page 4: Sketch! The Non-Artist's Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life

Copyright©2014byFranceBelleville-VanStone

Allrightsreserved.

PublishedintheUnitedStatesbyWatsonGuptillPublications,animprintoftheCrown

PublishingGroup,adivisionofRandomHouseLLC,aPenguinRandomHouseCompany,New

York.

www.crownpublishing.com

www.watsonguptill.com

WATSONGUPTILLisaregisteredtrademark,andtheWGandHorsedesignsareregistered

trademarksofRandomHouseLLC.

LibraryofCongressCataloging-in-PublicationData

Belleville-VanStone,France.

Sketch!/FranceBelleville-VanStone.—FirstEdition.

pagescm

1.Drawing—Technique.I.Title.

NC650.B452014

741.2—dc23

2014012253

TradePaperbackISBN:978-0-38534-609-2

eBookISBN:978-0-385-34-610-8

DesignbyMichelleThompson

CoverDesignbyAngelinaCheneyandChristinaJirachachavalwong

v3.1

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Page 6: Sketch! The Non-Artist's Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life

Cover

TitlePage

Copyright

Introduction

CHAPTER1

PRELIMINARIESOnBeingUntaught

WhyDraw?

“You’reSoTalented”

CHAPTER2

SUPPLIESToolsIUseforDrawing

Pens

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Pencils

ToolsIUseforAddingColor

Brushes

Watercolors

ColorPencils

Markers

ToolsIUseforErasing

PaperIUseforDrawing

Sketchbooks

Loose-LeafPaper

HowDoYouCarryAllThis?

OtherToolsIUse

ToolsandMaterialsIDon’tUse

CHAPTER3

BASICTECHNIQUESLooseningUp

Crosshatching

PressureandAngle

AddingColor

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CHAPTER4

DRAWINGWHENTIMEANDRESOURCESARELIMITEDRedefiningCompletion

ReadjustingYourExpectations

Ten-MinuteDrawings

ImprovisingYourSupport

TheUpsideofDrawingFast

HowtoDrawwithLimitedTimeandResources

AcceptingMistakes

KeepingaSketchbookatHand

Tips

CHAPTER5

GOINGDIGITALThePlusesoftheTablet

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TheMinusesoftheTablet

StylusVersusFingertip

TheBestDrawingAppsOutThere

Brushes

Procreate

PaperbyFiftyThree

TheStylusesIUse

DrawingonaSmartphone

CHAPTER6

PROMPTSA-Z

AbouttheAuthor

Acknowledgments

Index

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Thinkaboutwhatgotyoufiredupasakidwhenyouplayed.Wasitbuildingforts,organizingteatime,makingsnowigloos,orfishing?Personally,IcannotdissociatemychildhoodmemoriesfromLEGObricks.Mostofmytimethatwasn’tdedicatedtoschoolwasspentplayingwiththem.Ihadtwogiantboxesofpieces,plusabunchofflatLEGObuildingplates.Ilovedbuildinghouses.Iwouldspendentireafternoonsonanoptimalhomefloorplan,andbecauseIhadsomanypieces,Icouldreallygototown:patios,fourbedrooms,bigtables,bigbeds,two-cargarages,andwidehallways.Iwouldworkonahouseforhoursonend,lookingforwardtothenputtingthelittleLEGOguysin,choosingtherightcarsforthem,and,finally,playingwiththehouseIhadjustbuilt.

Eachtime,Iwouldbesoexcitedabouttheprospectofhavinganewhousetoplaywith,andinevitably,onceitwasbuilt,myinterestwouldfadeanddiealmostinstantly.Withinaday,IwoulddismantlethebuildingIhadjustmadeandstartanewonefromscratch.

OnlylaterdidIfinallyunderstandthatIgotmykicksnotoutofplayingwitheachhouse,butoutofbuildingthem.Itwastheprocessofbuildingthathadmeallfiredup.Oncethatstagewasover,sowasthefun.EventhoughmygoalstartingeveryhousewastoseethefinishedproductanduseitasthebackdroptomylittleLEGOstories,thebiggeststimuluswasbuilding.Thesearchfortherightpiecetofitinalittlecorner,whichwouldthenhavemerunintootherpiecesthatIwoulduse,thechoicesIwouldmakealongtheway,allthiswasplayingLEGO.

DrawingisverymuchlikebuildingaLEGOhouse.Theremayormay

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DrawingisverymuchlikebuildingaLEGOhouse.Theremayormaynotbemuchplanninginvolved,butwhileyourgoalistoproduceadrawing,youwillfindthattherealjoyofdrawingliesinthedrawingprocessitself:thesubject,paper,paperorientation,pen,pencil,size,speed,pressure,color,strokes,angles,andmessups.

Thisbookisaboutcelebratingthelittlejourneywetakeeverytimewesketch.Itofferssome“how-tos,”whattodrawwith,whattodrawon,andcreativityprompts—inotherwords,whatwillgetyoutosimplydraw.

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CHAPTER1

PRELIMINARIESHaveyoueverwantedtosimplydrawbutdidn’tbecauseyoudidnotknowwhattostartwith?Isyourlackoftrainingasourceofinhibition?Haveyoueverfeltalongingforartisticcreativitybutshunneddrawingbecauseyousawitasaskillthatcouldn’tenableyoutomakealiving?Haveyoueverfelteagertodocumenttheworldaroundyoubutalwaysfeltpoorlyqualifiedtodoso?Haveyoueverneededacreativekick-startbutneverknewwheretoturn?Haveyoueverfeltdiscouragedbyyourownincapacitytolaysomethingrightonpaper?

Ihave.

Oh,andhaveyoueverthoughtyouhadtobeformallytrainedinordertodraw?Becausethetruthis,youdon’t.ButIamwillingtobetithelps.IforonehavenotlearnedtodrawandyetIdrawasoftenasmotherhoodandafull-timejoballow.

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ONBEINGUNTAUGHT

IteachFrenchandeveryyearIexplainthedifferencebetween“languagelearning”and“languageacquisition”tomyfreshmanstudents.Inanutshell,weacquireourmothertonguebutlearnaforeignone.Whenyouacquirealanguage,youfigureitoutonyourown.Youfigureoutthattheseeminglysharpstainlesssteelobjectthatyouseeyourparentsslicingbreadwithiswhattheycallaknife.That’sbecauseduringthepre-andpostverbaltoddleryears,youhaveheardthemsaythatyouarenottotouchtheknife.Andthatwasthethingtheyareusingtoslicethebread.Betteryet,youfigureoutthatwhentherearetwoormoreofthoseonthetable,theysayknives.Youarenotgivenaquizonittoassessifyougotit.Noteacherstoodinfrontofyoutomakeyourepeatthewordsknifeandknivesandwritetheminyourvocabularynotes.Thereisnohomework.It’sjustyou,experiencingthelanguagefirsthand,bothasawitness(listener)andaperformer(speakeranddoer).Thelanguageyouacquireasachildisnotsomethingyoustudy;itissomethingyoudo.Yourowncuriosity,whichisdrivenbytheneedtounderstandandcommunicate,isthefertilesoilwhereyourlanguagegrows.

Thesamegoesfordrawing.Thebeautyaboutnothavingbeentaughtdrawingisthatyouareinapositionoftheacquirer:theprocessoffiguringitoutmighttakeawhile,andyouwillmostlikelycontinuetofigurestuffoutasyougo,butthatprocessisyours.Therearenoshortcutsandnotricks,justtheplainpracticeofdrawing,screwingup,anddrawingsomemore.Notunliketheinfantwhohaslistenedtothousandsofhoursoflanguagebeforeutteringtheirfirstword,Iobserved,pageafterpage,drawingsofthegreats:Michelangelo,VanGogh,andMœbius.Myparents’artbookswereprobablytheearliestsourceofinspirationIhadwhilegrowingup.Ofcourse,likeeverykidoutthere,Idrewalot.ButIalsolookedatalotofdrawingsandreadanobscenenumberofFrenchcomicsbyEnkiBilal,MarcelGotlib,

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Caza,andJean“Mœbius”Giraud.Iwasluckytobebroughtupinanenvironmentwhereamazingbookswereatarm’sreach,rightthereinthelivingroom.Artseemedtomatter.

Mylastartclassdatesbacktomiddleschool,whenourlanguageartsteacherhadusdrawourfavoritealbumcoversonceeveryotherweek.IrememberdoingapatheticrenderingofthesteelguitaronthecoverofBrothersinArmsbyDireStraits,thinkingIhadexecutedamasterpiece.IwastwelveyearsoldandIthoughtIwouldmakeacareeroutofdrawing,notknowingthiswasthelastyearartwasofferedinmycurriculum.Throughtheyears,asIkeptdrawingonmyown,IhadtofigureoutwhyIcouldn’tmakesomethinglookrightonpaper.Ididn’tknowabouttherulesofperspective,Ididn’tknowaboutcrosshatching,andIdidn’tknowaboutproportions.ButIkeptdrawing.Anditlookedbad.Ievenwentthroughalongspellthatlastedseveralyearsinmytwenties,duringwhichIdrewless,partlybecauseIhadgrownfrustratedwithmyownincapacitytotranslatewhatIwantedtodrawintoanimageonpaper.Ihadgrandioseideasforpotentialdrawings,butnoneofthemsawthelightofday.Ioftenfeltstagnant.Ievenwentsofarastobelievethatmydayjob(teaching)waswhatmatteredmost,allthewhilebeingcognizantofthefactthatIwasalwayshappiestwhenIdrew.Inhindsight,itisobviousthatmydrawingswereresultoriented.IwantedtorenderaspecificimageIhadinmyhead.WhenIfailedtoattainit,thefrustrationwouldfreezemefordaysorweeksonend.WhatIdidn’tknowyet,whichIlearnedyearslater,wasthatIwasfailingtofocusonthedrawingpartofdrawing.Iturnedeachdrawingintoabigdeal:themoodandthemusichadtoberight,andwhateverIdrew(likethecountlessBICpenportraitsofMickJaggerandKeithRichardsIdidinmyhighschoolandcollegeyears)hadtoturnoutokay.Ipressuredmyselfintoexecutingdrawingsthatwouldconsumeentireafternoonsandevenings,onlybecausetheyhadto“looklike”thepersonIwastryingtodraw.Ihadnotyetlearnedthattheprocessofdrawingwaswhatbroughtmerealfulfillment.Iwasremovingmyselfentirelyfromthedrawingprocessandfocusingonlyonmycapacitytocreatehyperrealisticportraits.IveneratedtheworksofChuckCloseandRichardEstes(andstilldo)butwasunfortunatelymissingthepointofwhatIwastryingtoemulate.

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ThenImetRaheli.

Adrawingofmydad’smotorcycleIdidasakid.

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OneofthemanyKeithRichardsportraitsIsketchedincollege.BicpenonBristolpaper.

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ItwaswhilewalkingdownthestreetoneeveningafteragraphicdesignclasswewerebothtakingattheSchoolofVisualArtsthatRahelitoldme,“youshouldcheckoutthisguy’swork.He’sallaboutdrawingeverythingaroundhim,likethecontentsofhisbag.”ShehadjustintroducedmetoDannyGregory,andthatwasnothingshortofawatershedmomentforme.ItwasthenthatIrealizedIhadbeenmissingthegreatestsourceofinspirationformydrawings:everydaylife.ItwasthenthatIwentbacktodrawingonadailybasis.

Iwenthomethatnightanddrewthecontentsofmypurse.Itwasacompletebust.ButthedifferencebetweenthenandbeforeisthatIdiditagainthenextday,andthedayafterthat.IkeptseeingthingsIwantedtodrawaroundme.AndthemoreIdrew,thelessofabigdealdrawingbecame.Inolongerneededtobeintherightmood,withtheperfectlighting,orintherightplace.Idreweverywhere.Intheweeksthatfollowed,Itookmybike,rodeforlongstretchesbetweenBloomfieldandNewark,NewJersey,satonthesidewalk,anddrew.IdreweverytimeIhadachancetosit.Drawingwasnolongersacred.ItwassimplywhatIdid.

Istillwasn’tatrainedartist.Imademiserablerenderingsofhouses

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becauseIdidn’tunderstandperspective.Butfaileddrawingsdidn’tdeterme.IfeltfrustratedandinadequatebutIkeptsketching,howeverpainstakingly.Iwasslow(stillam,forthemostpart),buttherejustweren’tenoughpagesinmysketchbookstodocumenttheworldaroundme.AndwhenIwasstuckonatrain,Iwouldhavewithmepicturesofpeople’sfacestornfrommagazinessoIcouldpracticedrawingthosefaces.

Afteralltheseyearsofdrawing,drawinghadbecomeaboutdrawing,notjustthedrawings.AsDannyGregoryhimselfoncewrote,“That’swhyit’scalledadrawing,notadrawn.”

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WHYDRAW?

Whetheryouaredrawingaboxofmatchesoratwenty-storybuilding,youstartbyperceivingit.ItisnocoincidencethatthewordperceiveitselftakesitsrootsfromtheLatinverbpercipere,whichmeanstoseize,tounderstand.Whenyoudraw,yougainanawarenessofwhat’sinfrontofyouasyouarevisuallygraspingit.

Mostofushaveacquired,withtime,thecapacityto“tuneout”thethingsaroundus.Thisfacultytoconvenientlyignorethethingsthatdon’t“matter”allowsustolivewithoutbeingconstantlybombardedwithvisualstimuli.Weneedtobeabletodriveorwalkwithoutbeingdistractedbytheslightestobjectinourfieldofvision.Imaginestoppingtocontemplateeverythingonyourwaytowork:aparkingmeter,thedoorofabuilding,theshapeofaparkedcar,theleavesonthetrees,thefirehydrants…youwouldneverreachyourdestination!Thisiswhy,asadults,wehavetrainedourselvestodisregardthelandscapearoundusinordertokeepacertainfocus,thatis,wherewearegoing,howwearegoingtoanswerquestionsduringanupcominginterview,hownottotripinthosebrandnewheelssoastoavoidpublicembarrassment.Weonlyseemtotrulynoticethingsiftheybringussomekindofdiscomfort,forexample,howdirtythisseatis.

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Iinsistonsayingadultsbecausethiscapacitytoignoreinordertofocuscanalsoberegardedastheabilitytostopwondering.Afour-year-oldchildmarvelsateverything,includingthepotatoricer,becausetheyhaven’tyethadtorankthethingsthatmatterversusthosethatdon’t,asadultsdo.That’swhyeverythingmatterstoafouryear-old.Mydaughterwalksbymysideandnoticesthecracksinthecementsidewalk:“Itlookslikeahand!”

Overtheyears,ourfamiliarsurroundingshavebecomeinvisible.Wedon’thavethetimetonoticeobjectsbeyondtheirusefulnesstous,likeacoffeemachineoramug.Gettingoutapenandpapertodrawwhatisfamiliararoundusislikeshiningabigspotlightonwhatwehadgrowntoignore.Itturnstheinvisibleintothenewand,dareIsay,beautiful.

Theactofdrawingbringseverythingbackintofocus.Ipersonallyfindtruejoyintuningallthelittlethingsbackin.AllthethingsthatIhave“visuallydenied”arerenderedimportantbythemereactionoflooking

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atthemwiththeintentiontodrawthem.Thejoyofdrawingistheabilitytoreconnectwiththesenseofwonderwealloncehad.Farbeitfrommetoidealizechildhood,asIwouldn’twanttoreliveadayofit,butmostchildrendraw,andmostadultsdon’t.Yetsomeofusadultsdofeeltheneedtotranslatewhatweseeonpaper,becauseweseeit.Drawingis,firstandforemost,seeing.

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29thstreetinNYC.Hpencil,PigmaMicron05,andwatercolorinmysketchbook.

Intheageofinstantsharingofpictures,whyisthereaneedtodraw?IcantakeapictureofmylunchandhaveituponInstagrambeforeItakethefirstbite.Whydosomeofusdrawourlunchinstead?Whatdoesdrawingbringthatphotographydoesn’t?

First,itdoesn’tmatterifyouareextremelyfastorslow:todrawsomething,youhavetositthere.Iamslow;formetoabsorbasceneandputitonpaperisameticulousprocess.IcaneasilyspendacoupleofhoursonadrawingifIhavenotimeconstraints.WhenIdraw,Igraduallysinkintothemoment,andthesceneIdrawgraduallysinksintomyvision.ThemoreIobserve,themoreIsee,andthemoreIwanttodraw.Andperhapsthatiswherethefirstbigdistinctionbetweensnappingapicture,howeverbeautiful,anddrawinglies:thecontrolyouhavewithyourpen.Whenyoudraw,youconstantlychoosewhatyouareincludingandwhatyouareleavingout.Drawingisaseriesofchoicesthatwemake—“HowamIgoingtodealwiththistree?WhatifIignoredthiscar;woulditthroweverythingoffbalance?DoIdrawthepatternonhershirt?”Allthesechoicesamounttowhatmakesthedrawing.Thereisnothinginstantaboutit.Asyoudraw,you

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graduallytakeownership:youalonearemakingdecisionsalongtheway,whetheryoudoordon’tfinishit.

Fiat850.Hpencil,PigmaMicron08,andwatercolorinawatercolorMoleskine.

Theprocessthatyougothrough,beitfortenminutesorthreehours,isthedrawing.Likeavisuallyimpairedpersonhastofeelsomeone’sfacewiththeirhandstotelltheirfeatures,Isitandgraduallytakeinthedetailsofaplaceorapersonthroughthepen.WhiletakingpictureswithanSLRorwithmysmartphoneisgreatfun,Ifeelinvolvedonamuchdeeperlevelthroughtheactofdrawing.Isometimeswalk

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muchdeeperlevelthroughtheactofdrawing.IsometimeswalkthroughorpastplacesIhavedrawn,andIamsowellacquaintedwiththemthatIhavetheuncannyfeelingofhavinglivedthere.

So,dowedrawtokeepsomekindofrecord?IthinkIdo.Peoplekeeptravelsketchbooksandrecordwhattheysee.Ifyouflipthroughyourownsketchbookfromyearsprior,youwillremembereverythingaboutthemomentyoudrewsomething:thechallengesyoufaceddrawingit,thetemperatureoutside,whereyouweresitting,evenwhocameovertotalktoyou.Keepingasketchbookisalsotherecordingoftheevolutionsofyourowndrawings.FlippingthroughthepagesofMoleskinesketchbooksIkeptsixyearsagomakesmerealizethatalothaschanged,notjustinhowIdraw,butinwhatIchoosetodraw.Itisnotunlikekeepingadiary:itisevidenceofgrowth.Mydrawingswereelaborateandtime-consumingbeforeIhadababy.Afterthebirthofmydaughter,Ihadtoadapttomynewlifestyle.Mydrawingswentfrombeingmeticulousandtime-consumingtobeinglesselaborate.InthesketchbooksIkeptinthemonthsthatfollowedmydaughter’sbirth,Icanseethegradualshiftfrommyfour-hourpencilportraitstoquicker,sometimesfifteen-minuteaccounts.Sketchbooksarelogbooks:whatwedrawandhowwedrawinthem,whenlookedatinhindsight,formabiggerpicture.

ThoughIhavebeenfortunatetodrawinthecompanyofartistslikeAmandaKavanagh,LizSteel,StephenGardner,Lapin,andPaulHeaston,mostofmysketchbookpagesremindmeofhowdelightfullysolitarydrawingis.Itisatimeofintenseobservationoftheoutsideworldaswellasintrospection.Therearetimeswhendrawingnearsmeditation.JustasmybestfriendMichelinemeditateswhilejoggingoveranhouraday,Ifindmyselfinasimilarstateofmindwhiledrawing.Itisatime“inwhichmanythoughtshavetimetotakerootandunfoldthemselves”,asThoreauwroteinWalden.Itisatimetoreflectuponandshedworriesatthesametime.DannyGregorycalledit“clearingthecrap,”andIcan’tthinkofabetterwaytoputit.ThisisaconversationMichelineandIhaveoftenhad.Shejogs,Idraw,butwebothclearthecrap.

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“YOU’RESOTALENTED”

Talent—thisgiftGodbestoweduponaluckyfew:peoplearoundme,mycolleagues,somefriends,havehintedatthefactthatthisdrawingabilityIhaveispuretalent.Itisacommonbeliefthatthoseofuswhodrawhaveagift.

Istronglybelievethatputtingdrawingdowntoagiftisastancethatpostulates:Ican’tdothiswhileyoudoitsowell,sowhyshouldItry?Idon’thavethe“gift,”Dismissingdrawingwellasagiftisacop-out.WhileIdon’tdenythathistoryhashadseveralgeniusesintherealmofmusicandart,Ithinkmostofuswhocandrawaportraitoratreedosobecausebehindeachdrawing,therehavebeenhoursofpriordrawings.IsuckedbeforeIcoulddrawanythinghalfdecently,andunfortunatelyforme,suckingatdrawingisnotover.Istillfail.Istilldrawpainstakingly.

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Itishardtoexplaintofriendswhohaveaskedmetodrawtheirdogortheirgrandchildrenthatthoseportraitswilltakemehours,thattherewillbenothingeasyandrelaxedaboutthem.Iwillstruggle.Imightbehesitantanddisruptmyownflow.Imightevenhavetostartoverandhateeverythingaboutdrawingforalittlewhile.

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RoyHildebrant.2BpencilonCansonpaper.

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Doodlinginhighschool.BicpenonBristolpaper.

Artistictalentisashorthandforcountlesshours,months,andyearsspentdrawing.WhenIwasinhighschoolandmygirlfriendswereoutshoppingorgoingoutwithguys,Iwasthekidwhospenthoursatherdeskdrawing.Idrewnotoutoffeelingsociallyinept,butbecauseIlovedit,despitethefrustrationcausedbyfaileddrawingsandmyownlimitations.ThereasonwhyIcandrawadecent-lookingcartodaywithoutamodelisbecauseIhavedrawndozensofthembefore.And

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limitations.ThereasonwhyIcandrawadecent-lookingcartodaywithoutamodelisbecauseIhavedrawndozensofthembefore.AndtheoneIdrawtodayisnotnecessarilyoneIwillbehappyabout.ThefewminutesorthefewhoursIspendonadrawingarethecontinuationofthethousandofhoursIhavededicatedtodrawinginthepastfewyears.Thesecurrentdrawingsare,also,apassageinthehundredsofhoursIwillmostlikelycontinuetopourintoscratchingawayonthesurfaceofpaperwithapen.

Iftalentexists,mydefinitionofitisthis:itisthecapacitytospendinnumerablehoursdoingsomethingandtobelievethatsomehowitmatters.AndperhapsifGodhadahandinit,itwasinplantingthattenacityinsomeofus.

Thisbookoffersnomagicformulasandnoshortcuts.Thereisnoescapingthefactthatadrawingisaboutdrawing.Butthelaboriousprocessofgrowingasanartistdoesnotnecessarilyequatetotediousassignments.Thisiswhereoureverydaylifecomesin.Whenyouget

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intothehabitofdrawing,youexperiencethejoyofobservationandcontemplation,notjustwatchingbutseeing.Whileeveryoneonthetrainhastheirheadloweredintoasmartphone,alaptop,oratablet,youhaveyoursliftedandyoudraw.Youperceive.Youareaware.Youdon’ttunethemomentout;youthrowyourselfin.Yourcommuteonpublictransportationoryourwaittimeatthemotorvehicleagencyisnotamomentyouhavetokill—itisamomentyoucelebrate.

Letuscelebratetheeverydayandlayitdownonpaper,shallwe?

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CHAPTER2

SUPPLIESIdrawwithcertainthingsoutofaffinitybutmostlyoutofignorance.Idon’tknowmuchaboutvariouspapers,pens,pencils,orwatercolors.Forthemostpart,whatIusetodayiswhatIhavestumbledupon,tried,andliked,untilIlikedsomethingevenmore.IfoundmyfirstPigmaMicronpeninafriend’sbackyardanddrewwithit.Itwasalittleoldandwaslosingopacity.IimmediatelyloveditandIhaveyettofindsomethingbetterformyeverydaydoodling.TheJapanesedefinitelyknowhowtomakeapen.

Expensivesuppliesdon’tguaranteebetterdrawings,anditcertainlywon’tmakeyouabetterartist.However,itwouldbedisingenuousofmetosaythatthepriceofyoursuppliesdoesn’tmatteratall.IgetarealfeelingofexcitementwhenIopenanewsketchbookforthefirsttimeandabitofasenseofawewhenthatsketchbookisa$25.00Stillman&Birn.ButIamalsoconvincedthatusingahigh-qualitypaperhasnothelpedmeimprovemydrawing.JustlikelearningtoplayguitaronanexpensiveFenderwillnotelevateyoutotheskillofJimiHendrix,purchasingexpensivesketchbookswillnotdomuchfortheimprovementofyourdrawingchops.Buttheyarenice.

Unfortunately,Idon’thaveanyartstoresinatwenty-five-mileradiusofwhereIlive,soImakedowiththechaincraftsstoreintown.ThisiswhereIbuymy$5.00Pro-Artsketchbooks.Themajorityofthedrawingsinthisbookweredoneinmytrustycheapsketchbooks.

Iamnotsurewhetherbeingmoreknowledgeableaboutsupplieswouldmakemewanttokeepavarietywithmeatalltimes.IguessmyownlackofknowledgemeansIamkeepingmysupplieslimited,which

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isawayofstayingambulatory.Carryingmorethanacoupleofsketchbookscanbecumbersome,especiallywhentheyarewithyouatalltimes.TheonesIcarryhappentobetheonlyonesIown:mycheapPro-ArtandmyStillman&Birn.Ialsohavetobeabletocarrypensandpencilsinonerelativelysmallpencilcase.Portabilityisanimportantfactorifyouwanttomakesketchingahabit.Itmightforceyoutobeselectiveinyoursupplies,whichisagoodthingifyoutendtobeindecisive.Sometimes,lettingthependecidewhatkindofdrawingyouaregettingintoisliberating.Itisallpartofrelinquishingcontrolovertheprocessofdrawing.ThisisatopicItalkaboutinchapter4,DrawingwhenTimeandResourcesAreLimited.

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TOOLSIUSEFORDRAWING

IdeliberatelytitledthesenextfewsectionsToolsIUseforDrawing,ToolsIUseforAddingColor,andsooninsteadof“ToolstoUseforDrawing,”“ToolstoUseforAddingColor,”andsoon.ThesesectionsareaboutwhatIuse,notnecessarilywhatyououghttouse.Youmighttrytheseandlikethemoryoumaydecidetheyarenotthebestforyou.Themostimprotantthingistofindwhatworksforyouandwhatyoufeelcomfortableusing.

PensIusedtodrawexclusivelywithPilotPreciseV5andV7blackpens.Ifyouwanttoseeamazingballpointpendrawings,checkoutAndreaJoseph’sartatandreajoseph24.blogspot.com.Herdrawingsmayinspireyoutoplaywithballpointpens.

WhileIstilllovetheflowandthicknessofthePilots(andstillswearbythemforwriting),thequalityoftheinkdoesnotmatchthatofthePigmaMicrons.AndonceIgotusedtothedarksIcouldachievewith

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PigmaMicrons,Istoppedusingballpoints.YoucanaddwatercolorontopofPigmastrokes,andtheywillnotbleed.

MyfavoritePigmaistheMicron05,becauseitisnottoothickortoothin.ThisistheoneIammostlikelytograbfirst.ThePigmaMicronisidealformoreintricatedetailsandthinnerlines.TheMicron01iswhatIuseforshadows.OnthelowerleftisanexampleofapotatothatIdrewwithallthreePigmastogiveyouanideaofhowmuchadrawingcanbeaffectedbythethicknessofthepen.Dependingonhowyouholdit(seechapter3,BasicTechniques),thePigmacanyielddifferentresults.PerhapsIlovemyPigmaMicronsbecauseIhavenottriedanythingelsesincediscoveringthem.Iftimeandresourcesallowyoutoexperimentandcarryaroundmorematerial,goaheadand“testdraw.”

Isometimeswhipoutmyfountainpen,whichhappenstobetheoneIusedinhighschool.Itisstillingreatshape,andtheinkflowisstillasreliableasitwastwodecadesago.TheWatermanink,however,washesoffwithanyhintofwater,somyfountainpenandwatercolorsdon’tmix.

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PencilsIhaveapreferencefor2Bpencils,regardlessofthebrand,andseldomstrayfromthat.Why2B?IthinkitachievesthebestdarksifIputenoughpressureonitbutcanalsobehandledverylightlyandworkalmostlikeanHBpencil.

Iloveleadholders,becauseIneverhavetocarryapencilsharpenerwithmeorworryaboutthetipgettingdull.MyfavoriteisaPentelTwist-Erase0.9mm.Itsleadisthickerthanwhatisusuallyfoundinstores(0.5and0.7mmarethemainstreamthicknessesoutthere),soIhadtoorderitonline.

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Ialsohaveapenchantformuchthickerleads,liketheCretacolor2B(#26182)graphiteinaKOH-I-NOORVersatilleadholder(#5347).Whyleantowardthickerleads?Whenthetipbecomeschiseled,itcoversalotmoreground.Ifyouturnitslightly,itissharpandcanbeusedtocrosshatch.

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WhileIswearby2Bpencils,IalwayskeepanHpencilaround.Ifitwere2Hor3H,itwouldprobablybeevenbetter.NexttimeIgototheartstore,Imustremember!Theseharderpencilsallowforlighterstrokes,whichareperfectforaquickpreparationdrawing,ifyouhavetimeforit.IrecentlygotachancetosketchalongsidetheamazingPaulHeaston(paulheaston.com),andfoundoutheusesa6Hpencilforhispreliminarydrawings.Whetheryouintendtodrawoveritindarkerpencilorpen,theH-rangepencilsarethebestghostgraphite,thatis,easytoconceal.

ThoughIboughtityearsago,IhavefinallystartedusingmyGeneral’scharcoalwhitepencil.Itisagreatinstrumentwhenitcomestohighlightsonadarkerbackground.AsfarasIamconcerned,thedullerthecharcoalwhiteis,thebetter:itmakesforblurrierhighlights,whetherusedwithapenorapencil.

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whetherusedwithapenorapencil.

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TOOLSIUSEFORADDINGCOLOR

BrushesIneveraddedwatercoloronthegountilIboughtaPentelAquashbrush.Itisaportablebrush,thebodyofwhichcontainsenoughwatertolastfordays.OnedayIwassketchingnexttothetalentedAmandaKavanagh;I’dorderedmyPentelAquashonlinebutithadnotarrivedyet,butAmandawasusingone.Shetoldme“Thisthingwillchangeyourlife.”Itwasbarelyanoverstatement.Beingabletoaddwatercoloronthego,whentheonlysupportyouhaveisyourlap,isofimmeasurablevalue.IendedupgettingtwoPentelAquashbrushes:alargeandamedium.Ifindmyselfleaningmoretowardthemediumonebecausemydrawingsaresometimessosmall,thedetailsnecessitateuseofasmallerbrush.

TheonlyotherbrushIownistheoneIkeepathome:theAmericanPainterbrandfromLoew-Cornell.Iusuallybuywhatthechaincraftstorecarries.

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WatercolorsItisthankstoLizSteel(lizsteel.com)thatIgotacquaintedwithWinsor&Newtonwatercolors.Haditnotbeenforher,Iwouldstillbeusingmyfour-year-olddaughter’sPrangwashablewatercolors(includingthebrushthatgoeswiththem)andwouldnotknowwhattrue,deeppigmentmeans.TheWinsor&NewtonCotmanDeluxeSketchers’PocketBoxsethasintroducedmetoamuchhigherlevelofpigmentation.Thepigmentissorichthatverylittlecolorisactuallyneededtocreateresults.Thereisnoturningback.AllthedrawingsinthisbookwerecoloredwithWinsor&Newtonwatercolors.ThesizeoftheCotmanDeluxeSketcher’sPocketBoxisperfectfortransportingeverywhere.

ColorPencilsWhenIusecolorpencils,IhaveapropensitytousethesoftCretacolorones.Theyaresoldindividually.IhaveyettoexperimentwithwatercolorpencilseventhoughIhavehadaboxinmypossessionformonths.

MarkersIowntwoCopicmarkers:oneiswarmgrayandtheotheroneslate.I

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IowntwoCopicmarkers:oneiswarmgrayandtheotheroneslate.Irarelyusemarkerstocoloranything.WhenIdo,Iborrowmydaughter’sCrayolaPip-Squeaks.

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TOOLSIUSEFORERASING

SinceIdothemajorityofmydrawingsinpen,Iseldomgettoerase.ButwhenIworkinpencil,thePaperMateTuffStufferaserisacleverlittleeraser.Itissothin,itallowsforreachingintointricatespotsonthedrawing.Ihavebeenusingitforyears.Anyothergenericeraserworksformeaslongasit’swhiteandplasticky.

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PAPERIUSEFORDRAWING

Apenisonlygreatinrelationtothepaperyouareusing,especiallythethicknessofthatpaper.IfindthePigmaMicronpenistheonethatadjuststhebesttodifferentpapertypes:whetherIamdrawingonthickpaperwithtooth,watercolorpaper,orplaincopierpaper,thependoesn’t“slide”easilyonthesesurfaces,andthat’spreciselywhatIamafter.BecauseIhardlyeverpreparemydrawingsinpencilfirst,mystrokesinpencanbealittletentative.That’swhyasurfacewithalittlebitoftextureandapenthatworkswellwithitareidealforme.

SketchbooksAsmentioned,Ialternatebetweensketchbooks.IhavehadacoupleofMoleskinesketchbooksgoingforyearsnow,andImightevenfinishthemoneday.ButthemoreIusewatercolors,themoreIleantowardwhiterpaperliketheonefoundinmycheapPro-Artsketchbook.Itisnotexceptionallythick—infact,itisguaranteedtobucklewithwatercolors—butthepaperhastherightamountoftooth.Andyoucan’tbeat$5.00fortwohundredpages.Idon’thaveveryhighexpectationsforthispaper,andsomehowitfeelsasthoughmyscrew-upsareeasilyforgivenaswell.

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IhavealsodrawninMoleskinelarge(5″×8″)sketchbooksforyears.Theextremelysmoothsurfaceissuitableforbothpenandpencil.Thethicknessofthepaperallowsfordrawingonbothsidescomfortablywithoutworryingaboutanythingbleedingthrough.BecarefulnottopurchaseaplainMoleskinenotebookwhenyouwantasketchbook.Theweightofthepaperisdifferent.

TheMoleskineJapanesealbumisanalternativetotheregularsketchbook.Itspagesareonebigsheetwhichisfolded,accordionstyle.

TheperfectsketchbookforwatercolorsistheMoleskineWatercolorNotebook.Thepaperissoheavy,youwillneverhavetoworryaboutitbucklingwithwashes.Thehorizontalformatturneditintotheperfectframeformycardrawings(seeinchapter6,Prompts).

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OnlyrecentlyhaveIacquiredaStillman&BirnGammaseriessketchbookwithivorypaper.Italsohastherightamountofroughness,andthethicknessofthepaperisidealforpen,pencil,orlightwatercolor.ItmightbethenicestsketchbookIhaveeverused.

Ionceboughtarecycledpaper,ring-boundEarthboundsketchbookonawhim,partlybecauseIknewIownedawhitecharcoalpencilandwantedtotryit.Thefeelofthepaperisperfect:itissmooth,buttherecycledparticlesgiveitjusttherightamountoftexture.Allthedrawingswithanearth-tonebackgroundweredoneinthissketchbook.

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DrawingofananonymousfacefoundonFlickr.2BpencilinMoleskine.

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Myleftboot.Koh-I-Noorholderwith2BcretacolorleadinMoleskine.

Loose-LeafPaperIhaveusedCanson9″×12″forlargerformatcommissionsandothertime-consumingdrawingslikethese.Thecreamcolorisabeautifulbackgroundforpencil.Thesurface,notunliketheStillman&Birn

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paper,isnicelytextured.IhaveusedtheCansonexclusivelyforpencildrawings.

BristolpaperisgreatforPigmaMicronsandpensingeneral,evenfountainpens.Becausethesurfaceisextremelysmoothandthepapersothick,youcanreallygodark,applyingpressure,andnotworryaboutdamaginganything.

AnyotherpaperIuseisdeliberatelyrandom.Ineverwanttoturndrawingintoaceremony(seechapter1,Preliminaries);thereforeanythingcloseathandispotentiallygood.Thisishowalotofmydrawingsenduponenvelopes,packages,photocopypaper,orfolders.Thisdeliberaterandomnessforcesmetoexploreothersurfacesandacceptthechallengeofsize.

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Drawingfromaphoto.3BpencilonBristolpaper.

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HOWDOYOUCARRYALLTHIS?

Mypurse,theoneItakeeverywhereandwithoutwhichIneverleavethehouse,isabigbackpack.BecauseIneverknowswhenI’mgoingtohavealittlewindowoftimetodraw,thebackpackcontainseverythingIneed,orjustabout:myiPad,twosketchbooks,mypencilcase,mywatercolors,andaclipboard.

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OTHERTOOLSIUSE

AfterIspentadaysketchinginBrooklyn,sittingonanupside-downbucket,Idecidedtobuyafold-upchair.Itiseasytocarryontheshoulderwhenithasbeenfoldedandslidinsideitssheath.TheartistLizSteel,withwhomIhavebeenluckyenoughtosketch,usesafoldingstoolwithtelescopiclegsfromSweden,calledaWalkstool.Checkouttheirproductsatwalkstool.com.UntilIcansplurgeandgetaWalkstoolmyself,Ihaveapreferenceformyfold-upchairor$5.00bucketbecauseIleanforwardwhenIdraw,withmylapasmysupport.Inowkeepthechairandbucketinthetrunkofmycar.

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TOOLSANDMATERIALSIDON’TUSE

Idonothaveanaffinityforpaperthatistoothin.IhadhighhopesfortheMoleskineEvernotenotebookIorderedonline,butIfindmyselfhavingtoskipeveryotherpagetodraworwritesomethingthatisnotgoingtoshowthroughontheotherside.ThesamegoesforMoleskinejournals,whicharesoftcover.Thatpaperistoothineventodrawoninpencil.

Idon’tlikeblendingtools.Ihavetriedtoblendpencilwithatortillon(atightlywoundpieceofpaperwithapointyend)before,butitobviouslywasn’ttherighttoolforgraphite.

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CHAPTER3

BASICTECHNIQUESIhaveneverlearnedanypropertechniqueswhenitcomestodrawing.Thereisabitofironyinmeattemptingtowriteachapterontechniques,knowingmylastdrawinglessondatesbacktoelementaryschool,whenMr.Siegwaltshowedushowtoshadeacylinder.IhavelearnedeverythingIamabouttobreakdownherethroughobservation,primarilyofabookofMichelangelo’sdrawingsandengravingsbyDürer.Howthegreatsrenderedvolume,light,shadow,thefactthattheydrewstudyafterstudyofabodypartoradrapealwaysfascinatedme.Igotmostofmyinspirationfortechniquefromtheirwork.Searchforthemonlineoratyourlocallibraryandstudythedetailsclosely.

Inthischapter,youwilllearnabitaboutlooseningup,aboutcrosshatching,abouthowtogetadrawingstarted,aboutpenandpencilpressureandangle,andaboutaddingcolor.

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LOOSENINGUP

Nowthatyouarefacingablankpage,knowthatitisnotalwayseasytoputthependowntoit.Sometimeswegetstuck,notforlackofinspiration,butbecausethehandhasn’tloosenedup.Itfeelstense,wegripthepenwrong,weputtoomuchpressureonthepenfromthestart.Ihavehadcountlessmomentslikethese,andafteryearsoffollowingtheworksoffellowbloggers,Ihavelearnedaboutthebenefitsofdoodlingtoloosenup.Thisisasmuchalooseningupofthehandasitisofyourmind.Youunwindalineonpaperasyouunwindwhatisinyourhead.Aperfectexampleofthisisdrawingacontinuouslinetakingrandom90-degreeturnsonapagewithoutliftingyourpenoffthepaperorthetablet.Justletyourhandgo,nottoofastortooslow,butatapacethatfeelscomfortable.Thesekindsofdoodlesarepreciselyaboutthat:turningthediscomfortcausedbyanattempteddrawingintoeaseandcomfort.Theyareaboutfindingyourgroove.

Whatmattershereisnottotrytomakethislooklikemuch,butjusttogetsomemarksonthepaper.Youcancallafriendanddoodlewhileonthephone.Letters,littletrees,randomlinesorhouses,andpatternsareagreatwaytomakesomethinghappen,withouttryingtorendersomethingthatisinfrontofyou.Iwouldbetemptedtocallthese“mindless”doodles,buttheyareanythingbut.Theydowondersforthemind.Theyrelaxandunburdenit.Theirrepetitivenaturedoesnotturnthemindoff,butinsteadrefocusesitinaverygentlemanner.

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OurcatPeachesdrawninafewsecondsonmyiPad.

IfyouusePinterest,searchforZentanglestofindinspirationforpatterns.Sometimesspendingacoupleofdaysdrawingpatternsinsteadofdrawingfromlifehelpsrealignyourfocus.Theyareamixoffunandzanyaesthetics,andproducingthempreventsyoufromtakingyourselftooseriously.Whattheydoaboveall,however,ismakeyoucomfortablewiththepenorthepencilyouwanttouse.Bydrawingsillypatterns,youwillnotonlygetacquaintedwithyourwritingimplementbutalsowithitsrelationshipwiththepaper.Youwillknowwhatworksandwhatdoesn’t.Youwillfindthelimitsofyourpaper:howmuchdarknessitcantakebeforetheinkbleedsthrough,whetheritbucklesunderyourhand,orwhetherthetoothitoffersistoomuchornotenoughforyou.Doodlesarenotaboutperformance;theyaresomewherebetweenpracticeanddelving.Youmightbringbackthingsyouusedtodrawasakidandthatyouhaveburiedwiththeyears:sillyflowers,repetitivecircles,squares,endlesscheckers,fish.Youmightfindyourselfreconnectingwithlittlejoysyouhadlostsightof.Don’tbrushthemoffasawasteoftime.Youwilllearnalotaboutdrawing,andaboutyourself,drawingwiththeselittlepatternsinboxes.

Thereisnothinglikeblindcontourtothrowyouintotheprocessof

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drawing.Blindcontourisdrawingwhatisinfrontofyouwithouttakingyoureyesoffofit—andwithoutlookingatyourpaperoryourhand.Itcanbefastandsimpleormoreintricate,dependingonhowmuchtimeyouwanttospendonit.Becauseyouareneverlookingatthepaperorthetablet,youarenotburdenedby“whatitlookslike”andthereforecanfocusexclusivelyonwhatyousee.Yousimplyletyourhandtranscribeitonpaper.

AquickblindcontourofKeithRichardsinmyblindcontoursketchbook.

Itisaboutdrawing,asopposedtoaccomplishingadrawing.Thisexerciseisbeneficialonseverallevels:Fromaneye-to-handcoordinationpointofview,itisasif,forafewminutes,youallowyourselftobypassyouroveranalyticalleftbrain.Youdonotsecond-guessyourself;youdonotstressaboutrendering.Youjustabsorbtheformsofwhatyoudraw.Fromaloosening-uppointofview,blindcontourallowsyoutorelaxphysicallyandmoveyourhandaboutthepaperwithoutworryingabouttheconsequences.Itisagreatwaytowarmupfordrawingwhatyouwanttodraw.Italsodesacralizestheexperience,thatis,theactofdrawinginblindcontourtakesawaytheceremonialaspectofdrawing.Becausetheblankpagecanbeasource

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ceremonialaspectofdrawing.Becausetheblankpagecanbeasourceofstress,blindcontourhelpsyoujumpin,headfirst.Italsoguaranteesagoodlaughwhenyoulookattheresults.

Lotionbottleinmyblindcontoursketchbook.

Don’tunderestimatethepoweroflighteningthingsupwhenyouventureinto“art.”Looseningupisasmuchmentalasitisphysical.Irecommendhavingasketchbookdedicatedexclusivelytothesefun,spontaneous,blindcontourexercisessothatwithinafewdays,youwillhavecoveredpages.Thiswillhelpalleviateanxietyaboutnotproducinganythingonpaper.Whenyoudrawinblindcontour,youarethrowingyourselfintotheprocessofdrawinginsteadofmakingprojectionsabouttheoutcome.Inotherwords,whenyoudrawinblindcontour,youareinthenow.Themoreyoudoit,themorethisoutlookwillbecomeapartofyou:trustyoureye,trustyourhand,andtrustyourcapacitytoenjoytheprocessofdrawing.

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Blindcontourofmyhusband’slegsdoneonmyiPad.

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CROSSHATCHING

Crosshatchingisawaytotranslatelightandvolume.WhetherIdrawwithapenorapencil,Ialwaysreverttosomesortofcrosshatchingtorenderdarkerareas.ObservingtheworksofRobertCrumborMœbius,Ilearnedthedifferencebetweenstraightandcurvedlinesonasurface.Ioftenlookathighschoolstudents’workhanginginthehallwayatmyschoolandsomethingInoticeisthattheydrawalotofstraightlines,asiftheyhadrushedthroughtheassignmenttotranslateathree-dimensionalsubjectsuchasafaceorashoe.Idonotknowthefirstthingaboutsculpting,butIhavethefeelingthisiswheredrawingcomesclosesttoathree-dimensionalskill:knowwhattheshapesyouaredrawingaredoing.

Herearetwoexamplesofcircles.Thetoponeisgraduallyshadedwithstraightlines,whilethebottomoneisbeingcrosshatchedwithcurvedlines.Crosshatchingwhile“feeling”theroundedshapeiscrucialtome.Thecirclethathasbeenfilledwithstraightlineslooksmorelikeadisk,whilethecurvedcrosshatchedcirclelooksmorelikeasphere.Again,observingtheworksofMichelangeloteachesagreatdealabouthowtorendervolume.

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Whetheryouchoosetosketchwithapencilorapen,youwillwanttoexperimentwithwhatcrosshatchingdoestoadrawing.Inpencil,Ifindmyselfwantingtolaya“blendedbase”toanycrosshatching,thatis,softlyrunningthepencilonthepaperinareasthatseemtobethedarkest.Thatway,Iamnotafraidtocrosshatchbecausemybackgroundisalreadydark.Thisiswhatthebreakingdownofthehat

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drawingshows.Iamsurethereisafarmoreconventionalwaytouseapencil,butItendtotreatpencilsasIdopens.AndsinceIuseratherthickgraphiteleads(seechapter2,Supplies),thereisalwaysasharpedgetotheleadtomakecrosshatchingmarks.

Thereis,however,suchathingasoverdoingitwhenitcomestocrosshatching.Theavocadoaboveexemplifiesthat.Myavocadogotsmotheredindarknesshere.Ishouldhaveleftalargerlighterarea.

JustasIlovetousecrosshatchingtoconveyvolume,Ilovedrawingsthatareentirelydevoidofcrosshatching.Belowisaremotecontrol.Ileftthefirstversionaloneandcrosshatchedonthesecondone.MyfavoriteartistinthenoncrosshatchingareaisMichaelNobbs(www.sustainablycreative.com).IwishIcouldsometimesrefrainfromaddingmoretomydrawingssotheycouldlookmorelikehis.

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IfIthinkIamgoingtoaddcolortoadrawing,Isometimeskeepcrosshatchingtoaminimum.ButIcannothelpwantingtoconveyvolumewithpen.Hereisanexampleofamixofcrosshatchingandcolor:apigcommissionedbymydaughter.Iaddedcolorwithoneofhercoloredpencils.

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Ineithercase,whetherIaddcolorornot,IlikedefiningtheoverallshapeofwhatIamdrawingbeforeanythingelse,asIhavetoooftenmadeadrawing“grow”onthepagebylosingsightofthebigpicture.Itiseasytoforgetaboutproportionsifyougettoocaughtupindetailsrightfromthestart.Ihavedrawnmanycarsthatcouldnotfitonthepageeventhoughitlooked,atfirst,asthoughtheycould.

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PRESSUREANDANGLE

Itwasn’tuntilIstartedwritingthisbookthatIrealizedthatIholdthependifferentlyatthebeginningofadrawingthanIdointhelaterstagesofthedrawing(howeverbriefthesestagesmaybe).BecauseIseldomstartmypendrawingswithadraftversioninpencil,whateverIlaydownonpaperfirstremains.Intheearlystageofapendrawing,ItendtoholdmyPigmaMicronloosely.Thatallowsthepentobeatasharperangleinrelationtothepaper,thuslettingonlythesideofthetiptouchthepaper.ThemarksleftbyaPigmaMicronatthisangleareamixofthinandfaded.Thestrokesareabittentative,whichtomeisabsolutelyidealforstartingadrawing.Anymessupwillnotshowdramaticallyandwillmostlikelydisappearunderanyamountofcrosshatching.Ornot.Butthat’sthebeautyofpen.

WhenIknowmoreorlessthedirectioninwhichthingsaregoing(i.e.,

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WhenIknowmoreorlessthedirectioninwhichthingsaregoing(i.e.,thattheobjectIamdrawingmightfitonthepageafterall),Itendtoholdmypendifferently.Thefirststrokesofcrosshatchingmayhavebeententative,butonceIhavedecidedwheretolaythedarks,mygriponthePigmaMicronismorefirm,andtheangleofthepenismorevertical.Thatangleallowsformoretiptocomeincontactwiththepaper,whichcausesthestrokestobethickeranddarker.Ialsoseemtoapplymorepressuretothepenwhenholdingitthisway.

Thebestwaytoillustratethisdifferenceofanglesandpressureisthroughthesuccessionofmushroomstagesshownhere.

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Seehowthisdrawingdevelopedonthispage.

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OnceIhaveestablishedwhattheshapeismoreorlessgoingtobe,Ipauseandlookatthe

darkestareas.ThewaythelighthitswilldeterminewhereIstartdarkeningmydrawing.Istart

byhatchingverylightly.Noticethatthefirsthatchingsareallinthesamedirection.Ihavenot

yetmovedthepaperhere.

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Thisiswherethehatchingbecomesalittlehectic.Inowgointheoppositedirectionbutkeep

mystrokessomewhatlight.Istartedaddingmorepressureunderthecapofthemushroomto

conveydarkershades.NoticethatthestrokesarecurvesonthecapasIamtryingtorendera

roundedshape.

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NowitseemssafetoapplypressuretothePigmatogodarker.Imakesurenottohatchthe

areathatlookslighteronthemushroomsoIcanaddabitofwhitecharcoal.Thebitofwhite

againstthetanbackgroundmakesthemushroom“pop.”NoticeIaddedmorelineswiththe

Pigmaafteraddingthewhite.Also,Iappliedthewhiteontheleftsideabitmorelightly,asthat

areaisnotexposedtoasmuchlightasthetop.

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Icouldhaveleftitatthat,butanobjectcanfloatunmooredonapageunlessyouanchorit

withsomeshade.IusedmyPigmaGraphic1forthebroaderstrokes,mainlytosavetime.I

usedthePigmaGraphictodarkenthemushroomcap,too,asitsuddenlylookedalittlepale

nexttotheexpanseofblackshadow.

WhenIsketchwithapen,thethicknessofthepaperdoesnotseemtomatterhalfasmuchaswhenIdrawwithapencil.IhaveaprerequisitewhenItackleanythinginpencil:thesurfaceunderneaththepaperhastobehard,andtherecannotbelayersofpaperbetweenwhatIamdrawingonandthathardsurface.ThatiswhyIcarryaroundaclipboard,whichIplaceundereachleafofpaper(looseorina

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clipboard,whichIplaceundereachleafofpaper(looseorinasketchbook).ThefasterIcanachievethedarkeststrokeswithmypencil,thebetter.Astackofpapersunderneathrendersthepaperyouaredrawingontoosoft,andinsteadofattainingdarks,yourpenciltipjustdigsintothepaper.Itmakesforanaggravatingexperienceandunfortunateresults.Theharderthesurface,thebetterbehavedthepencilwillbe.Tryboth:asoftsurface(insideasketchbook)andahardsurfacewiththesamepencil.Youwillseehowmuchimpacteachhasonyourdrawingprocess.

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ADDINGCOLOR

WhenIaddcolor,IgrabmytrustyWinsor&Newtonset(seechapter2,Supplies)andtrymybestnottomesseverythingupbyoverdoingit.OnethingIfoundoutaboutwatercolors,especiallyfromobservingLizSteel,isthatthelooseryouarewiththem,thebetter;theyareunmercifulifyouhesitate.Letthatonestrokebetheoneandmoveon.Comebackinafewsecondsorminuteswhenithasdriedabit.

WhetherIamaddingcolororputtingpressureonmypencil,Ihaveacquired(andforthemostpart,amstillacquiring)theselittletechniques.Theyaretheresultsofyearsoftrialanderror…mostlyerrors.

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CHAPTER4

DRAWINGWHENTIMEANDRESOURCESARELIMITEDBeforetimebecameanissueinmyeverydaylife,Ihadalwayspositedthatthecomfortableamountoftimeforadrawingwasanhour.WhetherIwasdrawingacaroraportraitwithapen,anhourallowedmetogetintodetailandhaveasenseofcompletion.Anythinglessthananhourfeltrushed.TherealityIhavehadtodealwithforthepastfouryearssinceIbecameamomhasthrownarealmonkeywrenchintomycomfortabledrawinghabits.Atfirst,IhadtoadjusttothefactIcouldn’tdrawonadailybasisbecauseIwasstillverymuchcaughtupinmyoldways.Ispenthourseachdaynursingmynewbornbaby,wishingIcouldfindawaytomultitask!ButonceIrealizedthatIhadtorethinkprettymucheverythingaboutdrawing—andmindyou,thatdidn’thappenovernight—Istartedseeingaglimmeroflight.Littlebylittle,IfiguredouthowtobethemomIwantedtobewhileworkingfulltimeandcontinuingtofitdrawingintomyeverydayroutine.

Inthischapter,Iwillshowyouhowtoturnaconstraint(limitedtime)intoanexercise(sketchingfast)andperhapsevenahabit:

Whatcanyousketchinafewminutes?Thepossibilitiesareendless,evenifyouthinkthatwhatyouseearoundyoueverydaydoesn’tvaryallthatmuch.

Wherecanyousketch?Canyousitorstandforafewminutes?Canyouimproviseaseat?Ifso,thenyoucansketchanywhere,andbythatImeanthatyoumightendupkeepingasketchbookandapenonashelfinthebathroomoronyourbedsidetable.

Whenwillyoufindthetime?Youwillseethatonceyouletgoofcertainhangupsthatweallseemtohaveaboutdrawing,findingthe

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timewillbecomelessandlessofanissue.

Howwillyousketchwhenyouonlyhavearidiculouslysmallwindowoftime?Iwillsharesomeofthetechniquesandtoolsthatyoucanalwayshavehandy.

Fornow,let’skeepitrealistic.YoumaynotlearntodrawlikeMichelangelo,buthopefullyyouwillbemotivatedtocarrytheideaofsketchingwithyoualways.Putanotherway:Youwillnotbeabletomakeaclassicportraitofyourpetinafewminuteswhiledinnerisintheoven.Youwill,however,beabletofocusonwhatintriguesyourightatthatmoment.

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AquicksketchusingapictureItookofafriend’sson.HBpencilinmysketchbook.

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REDEFININGCOMPLETION

Beforetimewasanissue,bringingclosuretoadrawingwasasimportantasdrawingitself.Infact,myownsatisfactionattheendofadrawinghappenedpreciselythere,attheend,atthemomentwhenIfeltIhadloopedaloop,whenIputdownmypencil,walkedawaytogetadrink,andcamebacktomydeskthinking“It’snotperfectbutit’sdone.”Infact,somanyofthedrawingsIdidinmypremotherhoodyearsscream“closure”!Butthat’spreciselyit.Theircompletionwastheresultofadecisiononmypart.ThisluxuryofchoiceisoneIrarelyhavetoday.ThemostcrucialofallthereadjustmentsIhadtomaketojugglemotherhoodanddrawingpertainedtotheideaofcompletion.Timeconstraintsnowdeterminewhenadrawingstartsandwhenitends.Thatiswhycompletionhasbecomeanelasticconcept.Whenisadrawingdoneanyway?Doesitmatter?Don’tletit.Whatshouldmatteroveranythingelseistheactofdrawingitself.Relinquishtheconceptofthefinishedproductanddrawforthesakeofafewlines,howeverhasty,onapieceofpaper—beitinasketchbook,onthescreenofyoursmartphone,oronarestaurantplacemat.

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Hereareafewexamplesofunfinisheddrawings.Theyareunfinishedbecausesomecrucialpartsaremissing,butIhavecometoalmostprefermy“halfway-dones”andmy“quarter-of-the-way-completes”tosomemoredetailedandsometimesoverlyworkedsketches.

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READJUSTINGYOUREXPECTATIONS

Limitedtimemeansreadjustingyourexpectationsforwhattheoutcomeofadrawingwillbe.Refocusyourattentiononwhatyoureyesseeandhowyourhandtranslatesitonpaperratherthanonwhatyourfinishedproductissupposedtolooklike.Forthepastfouryears,Ihavehadtorelinquishtheideaoffinishingandcontentmyselfwithdoing.Onceyoufreeyourselffromthetyrannyofcompletion,theoncedauntingtaskofstartingissuddenlylessintimidating.Juststart—seewherethesefewminutestakeyou.Walkingawayfromwhatlookshalfwaydoneisnotaneasytask.Youmightwanttotrainyourselftoputdownthepenaftersketchinghalfafaceorcertainfeaturesofabuildinginsteadoftheentirething.Whiletheideaseemsabitcounterproductiveintheory,youwillgetaccustomedtoenjoyingwhatyouaredrawingwhileyouaredrawingit.Tobecomfortablewithtimeconstraints,imposethemonyourselfatfirstbytimingyourselfandforcingyourselftodropeverything.Thiswillempoweryoutowelcometimelimitationswhendrawing.

Inoureverydaylives,weareconstantlyputinsituationswherewedon’tknowhowlongthewaitwillbe:atthedentist,inthedoctor’swaitingroom,onthetrain,onthebus,behindthewheel,attherestaurant,inlineatthesupermarketcheckout,orwhileouroilisgettingchanged.Thebiggestchallengeaboutattemptingtosketchinmostofthesituationslistedaboveisnotknowinghowmuchtimewewillhavetowait.Theseareperfectopportunitiestosendtheoutcometothewindandsimplydraw.Thereisasillyquasi-adrenalinerushaboutdrawingwhenwedon’tknowhowfaritwillgo.Ifyoucanletgooftheideaoffinishing,ifyoucanacceptthatyoursketchbookwillbefullofhalf-thisandone-quarter-thatdrawings,youwillseenothingwrongwithlooselytacklinganything.Youwillnotonlycontentyourselfwith,butgrowtolove,sketchingyourcolleague’searandearringinsteadofafullprofileduringameeting.

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So,whatcanwefitintheproverbialfiveminutes?Notmuch.But,asIexplainedingreaterdetailinthechapter3(BasicTechniques),youcanstartbypickingsomethingtodraw,anddrawitbylookingsolelyatitinsteadofthepage.Youwillloosenyourstrokeandpreventyourbrainfromdecidingwhatthatsomethingshouldlooklike.Focusontheobjectofyourdrawingandletyourhanddothedrawing.Thesekindsofdrawingscanbesoquickthatyoucanknockdownahandfulinthespaceoffiveminutes.Forexample,myglassofapplejuiceonthispagewasdoneinafewseconds.Thismonstrous,improbableglasswithitsledgefloatinglikeahula-hoopovertherestofitsbodyisaquicklessonforme:itshowsmeIsomewhatkepttheshapesofmyoctagonalglasswithintheglassandthatmyhandcanproducesomethingthatresemblesmyobject.Thesequickdrawingsmightlookawfulfroma“finishedproduct”pointofview,buttheyteachyoutotrustyourhand-eyecoordination.Theygetalongalotbetterthanwemightthinkwithoutinterventionfromtheintrusive,know-it-all,ever-readjustingbrain.Thisisaboutnotlettingyourbraindrivethebus.

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Thesefollowingsketcheswerescribbledquickly,blind-contour-like,intheclassroomwhereIwasatestingproctor.Rememberthatthesehorribledrawings,howeverhardtheyaretolookat,serveapurpose:

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horribledrawings,howeverhardtheyaretolookat,serveapurpose:theywillhelpyouloosenupandpracticefocusingonwhatyouactuallyseeratherthanreinterpretingwhatyousee.Youcanevenaddcolortothemafterward,withwatercolor.

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TEN-MINUTEDRAWINGS

Onceyouhavebuiltthattrustandloosenedupalittle,youwillbemorecomfortabledrawingagainsttheclock.Hereisanotherexampleofthesamekindofsubject(students’footwear)buttreateddifferently.Withouttheblindcontourtowarmmeup,itmightnothavegonewell.Whyaredrawingshoessuchafunexercise?First,youknowpeopleareboundtomove,soit’saraceagainsttheclock.Second,youseefootwearinanglesyouarenotabletoseeiftheshoejustsitsemptyonthefloor.Third,youdon’traisetoomuchsuspicionwhiledrawingthem.Ihavegrowntolikestatewide-testingweekjustsoIcandrawwhatstudentswearontheirfeet.Thinkofallthetimesyoumightbesittingsomewhereinthevicinityofpeople—atacoffeeshop,inawaitingroomoronthesubway—therewillalwaysbeshoesandlegstosketch.Duringthestatewidetesting,students’movementsdidn’tallowformuchmorethanafewminutesofsketchingatatime.

Drawing“againsttheclock”doesn’tmeanyoumustlimityourselftosmall-scaleobjectslikefootwear.TheemptyDepartmentofMotorVehicles,whereIwaitedwhilemyhusbandwasgettingthetitleforhistruck,gavemeachallengingexerciseinperspectivefortenminutes.Sometimesallyouwillachieveintenminutesisaportionofwhatyouintendedtodraw,suchasthebackofyourcolleague.Andthat’sokay.

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Itookawritingworkshopyearsago.Oneofthemosteye-openingassignmentswastowritefortwentyminutes,uninterrupted,nomatterwhattopic,nomatterwhatstyle.Justwritefortwentyminutes.Ifoundhavingnoparticularconstraintotherthantimetobeamazinglyliberating.IhaveneverwrittenasmuchaswhenIusedthetwenty-minutechallenge.Let’sdothesamewithdrawing.Justsit,grabpaper,anddrawforfive,tenorfifteenminutes.Ifyourscheduleallowsyoutostretchthattothirtyminutesormore,that’sprettyfantastic.Doit.TurnofftheTVandgointothekitchenoronyourbackporch.ThatiswhatIdidforthesetwosketches.Myfamilywasfinishingeatingdinner,andIsketchedfortenminuteseachtime.Ieventimedmyselfwithastopwatch,forfearImightgetcarriedaway.Thefirstsketchisofacornerofthepergolaasseenfromourbackporch,andthesecondissilverwaredryingbythekitchensink.Thereisplentyofunfinishedhere,butthat’sthepoint.Justdrawfortenminutes.

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Thinkofwhenyouaremostlikelytohaveafewminutesinyourday.Isitatafieldhockeygameorwhenyousitinfrontofthebathtubonafold-upstepstoolwhileyourkidsaretakingtheirbath?Isitatthelaundromatorwhilecooking?Thewhensandthewheresareendless.

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Openingtherefrigeratordoorandsketchingwhat’sinsideisagreatexerciseinspeedbecauseyoucannotleavethatdooropentoolong.Iattendedagraduationceremonyrecentlyandsketchedduringthespeeches.

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Earlierthatsameday,onmywaytotheceremony,trafficwassobadthatIcouldbarelystayinsecondgear.Whilemycarcoastedgently,Ididaquicksketchofmydashboardonthebackofmyparkingpermit,leaningthepaperonmysteeringwheel.(Don’ttrythisathome!)Ididsomethingsimilar,thoughthistimeontheiPad,ontheparkinglotofasupermarketwhilemyhusbandwasquicklygettingsomelast-minutegroceries.

Inchapter5,GoingDigital,Iwillexplainatlengththeperksofhavingatablettodrawon.Tabletsaretheperfectcompanionsforquick

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sketches.Formoreinformationonthegreatdrawingappsoutthere,refertothatchapteraswell.

Atthedoctor’sofficetherewillmostlikelybefiveortenminutestosketch.

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IMPROVISINGYOURSUPPORT

Readyyourselfforemergency:drawingquicklymeanslittlepreparationonthepaper.IpersonallycannotdrawinpencilbeforedrawinginpenwhenIamrushed,becausethatalonewouldtakeupfivetotenminutes.Quickdrawingsareimprovised,theyhappenonanysurface,atanymoment.Youwillnotalwayshavealegitimatesupporttodrawonwhenyouonlyhaveafewminutestospare.Thead-libbedsupportwillbeasmuchpartoftheexperienceasdrawingitself.AsIdescribedinchapter2,Supplies,anythinggoes.Iftheonlythingyouhaveonyouiswhatyoupickedupinthemail,drawonanenvelope.

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Ifit’syourpaycheck,areceipt,aphotocopy,atextbookcover,apamphlet,anewspaper,that’sokay,too.Aquickdrawingonapackagebeforemailingitisagoodwaytopersonalizesomething.HereisadogIdrewwithaSharpieonaparcel.Theoutlineandcrosshatchingtookaboutahalfhour.

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Mypersonalfavoritefive-to-fifteen-minutekilleriswhilewaitingforfoodatarestaurant,especiallyifIdon’tpulloutmysketchbookbutsimplydrawstraightontheplacematorthepapertablecover.OnceIacceptedrelinquishingtheideaofcompletion,IrealizedImightaswellleavethesketchitselfbehind.Infact,lettinggooftheformerhelpswiththelatterandviceversa.Thereissomethingliberatingaboutsketchingonasupportthatyouwillnotkeep,likeyourpaperplacematoronthepapercoveringthetable.Itwillhelpyoudesacralizethedrawingandmakethemomentyouputthepenincontactwiththepaperlesssolemn.Partofwhysomeofusaresodauntedbythemeretaskofstartingadrawingisbecauseweturnitintoatask.Themomentyoudrawonadisposablesupport(i.e.,theplacematwhichwillsoonbedirtied),orwiththeintentionofthrowingitaway,youdevelopadifferentrelationshipwithwhatyoudraw:itwon’tbeabouttheresults,butabouttheprocess,forafewshortminutesatleast.Sowhatdoyoudrawatarestaurant?Anythingwithinsight,includingtherestaurantitself,ifyouhavetwentyminutestolingerafterpayingthebill.

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THEUPSIDEOFDRAWINGFAST

Sofar,drawingwhentimeandresourcesarelimitedhasmeantgivingupsomeexpectations:ofdrawingbig,ofproducingadetailedsketch,andevenoffinishingadrawing.Ihavespentthelastfewparagraphsfocusingonwhatdrawingfastisnot.Butbynotdrawingbig,youwillbedrawingsmaller,whichmeanscarryingaroundaconvenientlittlesketchbook.Youwillbeabletofititinapurseorasmallbackpackbecauseitwillnotbeascumbersomeasa9″×12″(orlarger)sketchbook.Bynotproducingaveryintricatesketch,youwillforceyourselftogettotheessentialsofwhatyouwanttolayonpaper:whatcatchesyoureyeandwhatbestconveystheshapeandlightofwhatyousee.Bynotfinishingadrawing,youwillletthelessfinishedpartssuggestwhatyouactuallydon’tneedtoshowindetail.Ifmycatislyingpeacefully,andIamluckyenoughtocatchherstill,Icangetaquicksketchlikethisoneintwentyminutes.Buttheformat,justlikethemediumIuseforthiskindofdrawing,isonarealisticscale:a7″×10″pageormaybeevensmaller.

Drawinginsuchseeminglylimitingcircumstancesisaboutembracing

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Drawinginsuchseeminglylimitingcircumstancesisaboutembracingadifferentapproachtosketching,notbemoaningthethingsyoucannotdo.

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HOWTODRAWWITHLIMITEDTIMEANDRESOURCES

Withafive-minutedrawing,youhavetocompletelyrelinquishtheideaofbuildingyourcompositioninanyway.Youlayitdownonpaperandthinkasyougo.Rememberthattheideabehindforcingyourselftosketchsoquicklyistoembracetheexperienceofdrawingratherthanthefinisheddrawing.Sometimes,myfewstolenminutesareatwork,likeinthelastfewminutesofmyprepbeforeIhavetorushtoaclassroomtoteach:astoolintheartroom,theelasticbandthatholdsmysketchbookshut,andmycupofhotcider.Noneofthesequicksketchesareveryelaborate.Theyareusuallyonesingleobject,isolatedfromitsbackground,aloneonapage.TherealityisIdon’tdrawfastatall.WhatIendupcoveringinfiveortenminutesisn’tmuch—andprobablyalotlessthansomeartistsouttherewhomIpersonallyknow.Ican’tbiteoffmorethanIcanchew.Maybeinafewyears,withpractice,Iwillbeabletosketchevenmoreloosely,andsowillyou!

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Theelasticbandthatkeepsmysketchbookshut.PigmaMicron05andwatercolorin

sketchbook.

Youcanalsodrawwhatyoudealwitheveryday,likeadesk,stool,orchair.Theobjectsthatsurroundusaresocommontousthattheydisappear.Sketchingthemisawaytobringthembackintoourvisionandacknowledgetheirshape.Wetendtoletourbraindecidewhatachairlookslikeaswetrytolayitdownonpaper,insteadofacknowledgingtheactualshapeofthechairwehaveinfrontofus.

Take,forinstance,thisergonomickneelingcontraptionthatIhaveusedforthepastfewmonthsasaworkchair.Ihavedrawnitmanytimes,indifferentcircumstances,whileonthephone,whiletakingabreakfromwork,ortosimplyseewhatit’sgoingtolookliketoday.

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Thesefoursketches,whileverysimilar,weredoneatdifferenttimes,andallfourtookdifferentamountsoftime:thefirstwasdoneinfiveminutes.

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Thesecondwasdoneinabouttenminutes.NoteinthiscasethatIstarttoleandangerouslytowardover-crosshatchingeverything.

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Thethirdsketchisablindcontourdrawingofthesamechair,donewithinoneminute.

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Thefourthsketchtookabouttwentyminutes.

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ACCEPTINGMISTAKES

Becausetheyarefast,quicksketchesareunapologetic.Therecanbeawholelotofwronggoingoninthem,startingwithcompletionandcomposition.WhatIconsiderarealmess-upisadrawingthatisawkwardlylocatedonthepaper(i.e.,inthemargin,unintentionallyoverprint,ortooclosetotheedge)orfullofperspectiveflaws.

Theseflawsarealmostunavoidablewhenthemediumispen.Ifindmyselfusingpenalmostexclusivelywhenmytimeislimited.Accomplishinganythinginpencilinvolvesthepossibilitytoerase,andthereforerethink,whatIamdoing.Drawinginpenforcesmetogetingearandpreventsmefromdownshifting.It’slikebeingthrustforward,despitethemood,despitetheenvironment,withnothingtodobutfillthelittlebitoftimeIhavewithdrawing.Drawingwithpen,asdescribedinchapter2,Supplies,teachesyoutodealwiththemistakesyouwillmakealongtheway.IfImessuptheanglesortheperspectivesonabuilding,itwilllookawful,butitwillshowme,blackonwhite,whatnottodo.Afterdrawingafewincorrectperspectivelinesinpen,IhavelearnedtoholdmyPigmaMicroninsuchawaythatitallowsmetomakeverylightmarksonthepaper.Thereisnofixingthemiftheyarewrong,butIcanmaketherestofthedrawingdarker

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sotheydonotstandout.

Dealingwithmistakesdoesn’tmeanInevergetfrustratedbyhowsketchessometimesturnout.Caseinpoint:sittingacrossfrommyfour-year-olddaughterwhileshewaseatingchocolateicecreamyieldedsomeprettypoorresults(aboveleft).Iwasstartingtodrawafork,thenchangedmymindandtriedtodoaquickblindcontourofmydaughter,thensketchedaladyatthetablenexttous.Whenthatdidn’tworkouttoowell,Idrewmydaughter’scupoficecream.Bythen,eventhoughitwaslessthanfiveminutesafteropeningthesketchbook,thecompositionwasnonexistent,andallIwasleftwithwasherdessertintheupper-leftcorner.Iloverandomsketchesoverlappingonapage,butthesedidn’tturnouttobethekindIamhappyabout.Addingwatercolordidhelpabit,butitdidnotsalvagetheunfortunateaffair.

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KEEPINGASKETCHBOOKATHAND

Whileimprovisingyoursupportisfun,carryingsomethingtodrawoninyourpocketbookorbackpackatalltimes,aswellashavingpaperhandyaroundthehouse,isawaytokeepsketchingcloseby.Iamnotsurewhetherhavingasketchbookonhandencouragesthedesiretodraworwhetherwantingtodrawencouragesthecarryingaroundofasketchbookatalltimes.Eitherway,thehabitofsketchingbreedsmoresketching,andbydoingquicksketchesthroughouttheday,youwillremovetheceremoniousaspectofdrawing.Youwillacceptthatapaperiswhatitis,asopposedtohowyouwouldpreferittobe,andmakedowithit.It’samazinghowthemereactoffetchingadifferentpieceofpaper(i.e.,withlesstooth,smoother,thicker,etc.)orlookingforthesupportthatfeelsrightcanslowdown,andsometimesdiscourage,thespontaneityofadrawing.Thatspontaneityiscrucialifyouwanttomakesketchingahabit.Inmyownexperience,thesamewentforplayingguitar.Keepingmyguitarinitscasewasthefirsthurdlethatdiscouragedmefrompickingitupeveryday.Unknowingly,Iwascreatingmyownobstacletoavoidbecomingbetteratplayingit.Don’tobstructyourownwaywhenitcomestoturningdrawingintoahabit.Becausepersonalinsecurities—CanIevendraw?Isthisgood?HowdoIknowifit’sgood?ShouldIaddcolor?WouldRobertCrumbapprove?—arecripplingenough,itiscrucialnottoaddphysicalhurdlesalongtheway:havepaperoratablethandyatalltimes.Nowlet’slookatthewaysyoucanmakeaquicksketchhappen.

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TIPS

Onastorereceipt,drawrectanglesorsquaresonthebacktoserveasframes.Drawobjectsorpiecesofobjectsaroundyouwithintheseframes.Ifyouarecookinginthekitchen,assignaframetoarandomobjectanddrawaknifeorthecornerofthetoaster.Itwon’tlookgreat,butifyounoticeyouhavetheopportunitytodrawwhilecooking,youwillstartkeepingalittlenotepadorsketchbooknearby.

Goonlineordiginyourcomputerandfindapictureofsomethingyoulove:aSiamesecat,aRollsRoyce,alocomotive,aWorldWarIIaircraft,aniris,aphotoyousavedofafriend’sdog.Giveyourselfonlyafewminutestodrawit,andseehowyoudrawitinthattimeframe.Don’tdecidethatyoucan’tdrawsomethingbasedonthefirsttimeyoudrawit.Doitagainwhenyougetachance.Andagain.Youwillsimplygetbetteratit.It’scalledpractice,andtherearenoshortcuts.

Gridyoursurface,sothattheareathatyou“fill”withyourdrawingisdeliberatelylimited,likeathumbnailbutbigger.Trygriddingyourpagewithfourorfiverectangularshapesanddrawdifferentdetailsoftheroomyou’rein.Thefunthingaboutlimitingthespaceonwhichyoucandrawisthatyoumightbecometemptedtodrawclose-ups,liketheonesbelow.

Focusonafamiliarobject,aroom,orpieceofarchitecture,andseehowmuchyoucandrawintwentyminutes.Doitagainintenminutes.Nowsketchthesamesubjectbuttrytocutthetimeinhalf.Seewhatyou“sacrifice.”Dotheopposite.Drawitinfiveminutes,thenten,thentwenty.Seehowcomfortableyougetandhowyouendupusingthatextratime.OppositeisanexampleofthemainroomofalibrarywhereIoftengo.ThefirstIdidinalittle

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overfiveminutes;thesecondIdidinfifteen.

Hopefullybynow,youhavelearnedtolookforwardtostolensketchingmoments—youknow,theonesthatwerenotsupposedtohappen.Youarenolongerthinking“Nah,I’mnotgoingtositdownanddraw;Iwon’thavethetime,”butrather“Hellwithit—I’mdrawing.”Youwillnolongerregardatimelimitasaconstraint,butasafunchallenge.Youmighteventimeyourselfwhiledrawing,justtosee.Youwilldrawbecauseoftimeandresourcelimitations,notinspiteofthem.Ifyou

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becauseoftimeandresourcelimitations,notinspiteofthem.Ifyougointhatdirection,youwillfillsketchbookaftersketchbookwithdrawings.Prettysoon,drawingwillbecomeahabit,perhapsevenanindispensableone.

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CHAPTER5

GOINGDIGITALSomemightdismissdrawingonatabletasbeinglessorganicandlessgenuinethandrawingonpaper.Tome,whilethetwomediaarenotequal,atabletisagreattooltosketchourworld.

Don’tnecessarilylooktothetabletasapracticeforpaper.Itcanbeaformofpractice,toacertainextent.Butthetabletisadifferentmedium,andyouhavetoapproachitdifferentlythanyouwouldpaper.Thedrawingprocessonthedigitalplatformdiffersfromtheanalogprocessinmanyways.Drawingonpaperwithapenislikealiveevent:whateverhappensisbeingrecorded,andwhat’sbeendonecan’tbeundone.Drawingonatabletoffersendlessrevisions:youcaneditit,goback,erase,andundoindefinitely.So,don’tnecessarilycountonthetablettobeyourrehearsalbeforeyouactuallygointothe“realdeal”—thatis,thepaper—oryouwillneverwanttomaketheleap.

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THEPLUSESOFTHETABLET

Thepowertoundo.Thetablet’seraser/undofunctionallowsforunlimiteddo-overs.Youmessup—youbackup.It’sveryforgiving.Thatwillhelpyou“divein.”Amarkyoumakewithapenonpaperispermanent.Whatyoumakeonatabletisanythingbut.Youcanbacktrackoneverysinglestroke.Itmakesdrawingmoreapproachableifyouhaveanyinhibitionsaboutstarting.Inaway,youcanviewdrawingonthetabletlikeridingabikewithtrainingwheels.

Portability.Youdon’thavetocarrypens,pencils,sharpeners,brushes,paints,andsketchbooks.Thetabletisallofthosethings.

Versatility.Thearrayofstrokesofferedinmostdrawingappsoutthereissimplyastonishing.Youcanspendanhourjustplayingwithstrokes,colors,andopacity.

Addinglayers.Layersofferafantasticwaytoaddcolororelementswithoutcompromisingadrawing.Becausealayer(asitsnameindicates)allowsyoutoaddtoadrawingwithoutaffectingwhathasalreadybeendrawn,youdon’truntheriskofruininganythingincaseyoudon’tlikewhatyou’vejustdone.Justhideordeletelayersasyouplease.Thisfeaturehelpsifyouarehesitantaboutwhatyouaredoing.

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THEMINUSESOFTHETABLET

Thefirstobviousdrawbackofthetabletisitscost.

Withoutusingapricystylus,theinabilitytorestyourhandonthesurfacewhileyoudrawtakesawhiletogetaccustomedto.Youmustlearntopositionyourhanddifferentlyandholdthestylusdifferentlythanyouwouldyourusualpenorpencil.Itmakesforanuneasyexperience,becauseyourhandhastohoverinsteadofresting.Consequently,youwillwanttoholdyourtabletasverticallyaspossible,notunlikeaneasel.OnceIfiguredthatout,thingsgotbetter.Bothmyrighthandandwristfeltalotlessstrainedasaresult.Tosome,however,notbeingabletorestyourhandisaninsurmountableobstacletodrawingcomfortably.

Whiletheeraser/undofeatureallowsyoutodosomethingover,itdoesnotteachyoutoacceptamistakeandrollwithit.Youneverhavetodealwithfailureifyouhavethepowertoundoitimmediately.That,tome,isoneofthebiggestshortcomingsofthisamazingtool.Whatmayseemlikehelp(thetrainingwheelsthatImentionedabove)mayturnouttobeahindrancethemoreyouuseit.

Thestrokeyouintendtomakeonatabletandtheactualresultarenotalwaysamatch.Somedrawingapps(see“TheBestDrawingAppsOutThere”)areonlyaccurateifyouadjustyourstroke,whichfeelscontrived.

Tosome,theadditionoflayerstakesawaythespontaneityandperhapsthegenuinenessofadrawing.Somemightregardthistypeof“technicalassistance”ascheating.BeingabletoaddlayersuponlayersandtohidesomeisthetabletequivalentofPhotoshoppingaphoto:itbecomesmoreabouttheappmasteryskillsthanthe

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drawingskillsthemselves.

Thesurfaceofthetablet,althoughitisutterlysmooth,“grabs”thetipofastylus,andthereisnoescapingthatfact.Itisnothingliketheglideofapenonapieceofpaper,evenwithtooth.Thatcanbeahindranceforcrosshatching,orforanystrokesyouintendtomakewithacertainamountofspeed.

Pressureisirrelevantwithacheapstylusoryourfingertip.Allthesubtletiesoftheregularpenorpencilaregone.Thereisonlyonetypeofpressureonthetablet,andtheonlywayyoudealwithvaluesisbychangingtheopacityofthepenorpencilyouareusing.Itmakesforabitofconfusionatfirst.Youwilladapt,butyoulosethebenefitsofpressureentirely—which,atleastforme,iswherealotofthefunofdrawinglies.

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STYLUSVERSUSFINGERTIP

IfirstbegandrawingonmyiPhonewithjustthetipofmyfinger.Whileitworked,inretrospect,Irealizedthestylusisalotfriendlierthanafingerfordrawingonanytablet.Thefirstreasonisthesize.Youalsogetmoreaccuratestrokeswithastylusthanyouwouldwiththetipofyourindexfinger.Whenthetipofthestyluslandsonthetablet,youaremoreabletotellwherethelineisgoingtobethanyouwouldwithyourfingertip.Also,holdingastylusislikeholdingapen;therefore,yourwristandhandgothroughmotionssimilartothoseofdrawingonpaper.Youimmediatelyenterafamiliarzonewhenyouholdyourstylusforthefirsttime.

Thatbeingsaid,Ihaveyettofindastylusthathasthesameeaseofmovementonthesurfaceasmyownskin.Therubberytipofthestylusgrabsslightlymorethanthefingertipwould.Youmayalsofindthatyouaremissingsomething,adirectcontactwiththetabletperhaps,whenyouuseastylus.Also,thestylustipisnotlikethatofapenorapencil,somakenomistake,itisnotperfect.Thetipisrounded,notpointy.Thatlackofinitialaccuracy,evenwithastylus,mightbeatadfrustrating.Mysuggestionistotryafewdrawingswithboth—yourfingertipandthestylus—andgetafeelforwhatworksbetterforyou.

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THEBESTDRAWINGAPPSOUTTHERE

ThesearetheappsfordrawingthatIrecommend.

BrushesWhenIfirstdrewonmyiPhone,IhadjustpurchasedtheBrushesappforlessthan$5.00.ItisveryinstinctiveandeasytouseonboththeiPhoneandiPad.Iwasneverabletoovercomethefact,however,thattheveryfirststrokeImakewiththeBrushesappneverregisters.It’slikeapenthathasrunoutofinkforasecond.Pasttheinitialfaultystroke,however,itworksandoffersagreatrangeofpossibility:strokes,widthsofstrokes,andcolors.

EventhoughtheBrushesappoffersaplethoraofbrushes,colors,andothershadingoptions,IhaveusedBrusheslikeIwouldapieceof

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paper:Itendtosticktoonetypeofbrushandkeepmycolorpalettelimited.Onlytowardtheendofthegiraffe(left)drawingdidIstartexperimentingwith“spraying”brushestocreateshades—seetheundersideoftheneck.Despitethepossibilityofdrawinginlayers,IhaveneverusedthatfeatureinBrushes.

Tonka.PaperappfortheiPad.

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ChrisChristie.ProcreateappfortheiPad.

ProcreateUnfortunatelyforBrushes,alongcameProcreate.Procreateissomuchmore,andaboveall,itallowsforfasterspeed.WhereBrushes

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sometimeshasdifficultyfollowingacurve,Procreatedeliverssmooth,real-lifelines.ItisthesamepriceasBrushesbutyoucanaddfeaturesalongtheway.

Becauseofmylackofexperienceindigitalandcomputerarts,Istilltreatanyapp,eventheamazingProcreate,likeapieceofpaperinsteadofaseriesoflayers.IdidmanydrawingswithProcreatewithoutusinglayers.ButonceIstartedplayingwiththem,IrealizedwhatIhadbeenmissing.Ohthejoyofbeingabletoexperimentonadrawingwithoutrunningtheriskofmessingitallup!Alayerislikeatransparentsheetthatyoudrawon.Youcanerasethingsfromitordeletetheentirelayeritself.Eitherway,youdonotcompromisewhatyou’vedrawnbefore.Ifeelabitsheepishusinglayers,because,asIstatedearlier,theydonotforceonetodealwithirreversiblemistakes;thatiswhyIrarelyusethem.Layersareagreattoolwhenyoucan’taffordtoscrewup,orwhenyouaremoreconcernedwithdeliveringafinaldrawingthanthepainstakingprocessofproducingit.Endlesslayersmakeforendlesspossibilities.

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PaperbyFiftyThreeIfyouwanttokeepitsimpleandnotbeencumberedbyanunlimitednumberofstrokepossibilitiesinabeautifulinterface,PaperbyFiftyThreeistheperfectapp.Youcankeepyoursketchesorganizedindifferentsketchbooks(whichyouopenandclosewithatapofthefinger)andcreateasmanyasyouwish.Theappoffersfivedifferenttypesofstrokes:afountainpen,apencil(whichIseldomuse,becauseofthelackoftranslationofpressureonthetablet),aballpoint-likepen,amarker,andawatercolorbrush.Itdoesn’thavealayerfeature,anditdoesn’tallowforphotostobeimportedinasketchbook,hencethenamePaper.TheseverylimitationsarewhatIlikebestaboutthisappandarethereasonwhyIuseitthemostoutofthethreeIhavedownloadedontomytablet.The“undo”featureisalsotheneatestofthemall:youplacetwofingersonthetabletandmovecounterclockwise.Thisparticularfeatureislessdisruptivethantappingalittlebackwardarrowatthebottomofthescreen.Itallowsyoutostaywiththeflowofthedrawing.WhilethePhotoshop-likefeaturesofProcreatearenothingshortofmind-blowing,Paperistheappforthesketcherwhowantstowhipoutatabletandhavequickaccessto

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simpletools.Itisfree,andyoupay$1.99foreachfeatureyouadd.

ThefollowingweredrawnusingthePaperappfortheiPad.Aswithmydrawingsonpaper,Istartwithblacklinesandaddcolorlast.

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ThereleaseofthePenciltool(thestylusmadebyFiftyThreeexclusivelyforPaper)broughtevenmoreattractivefeaturestothePaperapp,makingitmyfavoritetoolfordrawingontheiPad.

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THESTYLUSESIUSE

Istartedoutwithstylusesthatyoucanfindinanystorecarryingofficeandelectronicsupplies:allhadafairlywide,roundtipthatcannotbereplacedwhenitbreaks.Tipsdobreakwithuse;theconstantrubbingagainstthesurfaceofthetabletwearsontipstothepointthatthethinrubberynibcracks.

ThefirststylusIbought,notknowingtherewerestylusesouttherethatweremadesolelyforthepurposeofdrawing,wasashortGriffinstylusbecauseofitssize.Iwantedtobeabletoputbothmysmartphoneandmystylusinmypocketwithoutanythingstickingout.Thenibwasnotslippery,itgrabbedthesurfaceasItriedtodraw,butIdidnotknowanybetter.

IthenboughtaTargusbecauseofthelittleloopontop,whichallowsmetocarryitattheendofalanyard.Bothstyluses—GriffinandTargus—havesimilartips,shape,width,andfeel.Theyareratherwide.

IwasthenofferedaZebraZ-1000stylus/pencombination,whichIcarriedintheholderofmyiPadcase.WhileIneverusedthepensideofthecontraption,Ifoundthelength,weight,andtipsizetobecomfortable.Thetipwassignificantlynarrower(0.5mm)thanthetwopreviousstyluses,andthatallowsforalittlemoreprecision.

Allstylusesmentionedaboverangefrom$8.00to$15.00.

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EverythingchangedafterIdecidedtospend$40.00formyfirstWacomBamboo.ThemomentthenibmadecontactwiththesurfaceofmyiPad,Iunderstoodwhysomefriendssworebythem.Thenibrubber,whilesoft,hasamoreslipperytexture,allowingthestylustoglideinwaystheprevious,cheaperstylusescouldnot.

Whileitdidn’tofferanyofthepressuresensitivityIwasstartingtoreadaboutontheweb,theBamboohasbeenperfectfortheuseIhavehadofit.SecondgenerationBamboostylusesfeatureanevennarrowernib,allowingforevenmoreaccuracy.

InNovember2013,themakersofthePaperapp,FiftyThree,releasedPencil.AndonceagainIfoundanevenbettertool.However,alltheoptionsthatPenciloffersareconfinedtothePaperappitself.YouwillnotbeabletoenjoythosefeaturesifyouusePencilwithanyotherapp.OutsideofPaper,Pencilbehaveslikearegularstylus.ButonceconnectedtoPaper,whichisknownas“kissing,”Pencilincludessomewowingfeatures:

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Palmrejection.Thisisthemostincrediblefeatureofall:itallowsyoutorestyourhandonthetabletwhileyoudraw(ifyourhandwillnotregisteronthescreen).OnlythelinesyoudrawwiththenibofPencilwillbevisible.

Blend.DependingonhowyouchoosetosetupPencil,youcanopttohaveyourfingerblurwhatyoudraw.

Dots.IfyouletthenibofthePencillingerasyoumakeadot,thedotwillgrowlarger.Thequickerthecontact,thesmallerthedot.

Pencilcomesintwocolors—walnutorgraphite—theformerallowsittoattachtoyouriPadSmartCoverwithamagnet.BecauseitworkswithBluetooth,ithastoberecharged.Butsofar,afterhoursofdailyuse,Ihaveonlyhadtorechargeitonceamonth.Visitwww.fiftythree.com/pencilforallthetechnicalities.ThewalnutPencilcostsalittlelessthan$60.00.

Inthespaceofacoupleofmonths,Iwentfromnotknowingaboutmade-for-drawingstylusestoowningthreewithoutwhichIcannotdrawtoday.ThesethreearetheBamboo,PencilbyFiftyThree,andtheAdonitJotTouch4.

TheAdonitJotTouch4isa$90pressure-sensitivestylus.ItcanbepairedwithProcreateviaBluetooth,andwildasitmaysound,themarksonthetabletwillrespondtotheamountofpressureyouapply.Thethin,precise,“just-like-a-pen”endoftheAdonitJotTouch4allowsforbetterprecision.Youactuallyseeexactlywhereyoumakeamark,thankstothesee-throughlittlediscusatthetip.Ihavereadreviewscomplainingaboutthe“clicking”soundthatthetipmakeswhenitcomesincontactwiththesurfaceofthetablet,butithasn’tbotheredme.

Dependingonwhatappyouuse,theAdonitwillalsoenablepalmrejection.SinceIhaveusedmyAdonitJotTouch4withProcreate,palmrejectionhasnotbeenanoption,butthepressuresensitivityisaboon.

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boon.

Saytheneedorthewanttodrawstrikes.Becausethemereactionofdigginginabagforastyluscanbedisruptivetothepointofbecominganobstacletodrawing,IhavekeptmynewstylusesaroundmyiPadwithanelasticstrap.Thatneatlittlecontraptioniscalleda“bandolier”andtheycanbefoundatwww.etsy.com/shop/cleverhands.

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DRAWINGONASMARTPHONE

ThefollowingsketchesweredoneonmyiPhonewithaBrushesapp.IdidthesebeforeIhadaniPadorastylus.Thesmallsizeofasmartphonemakessketchingononeachallenge,butitcanyieldinterestingresults.Seethenextpageformoreonthisprocess.

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Thisparticulardrawingtookhours.

Iwasatitforseveralevenings,zoominginandoutconstantlytoseeeverystrokeIwasmakingwithmyfingertipaswellasthewholepicture.DrawingonsuchasmallsurfaceastheiPhoneissheerpenance.OnceIgotmyiPad,IknewIwouldneverattemptsomethingsotediousagain.

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Drawingdigitallyoffersendlesspossibilitiesintermsoflayers,strokes,andcolors.Attheendoftheday,however,thepleasureIderivefromdrawingliesinbeingabletoplaywithpressure(beitwithapenorapencil)whilekeepingmysuppliesminimal.Whenthetabletisabletorecreatethatexperienceaccuratelyacrossallapps,itwilltrulyhavereplacedthesketchbook.ButasfarasIamconcerned,wearenotthereyet.Solet’snotregardthetabletasthepossiblereplacementtopaper.Itisafantasticaddition,andagreattooltopracticewithifyoufeelatadintimidatedbyablanksheetofpaper.Ihighlyrecommendit,butyoumighthavetogothroughseveralstylusestofindtheonethatsuitsyourtabletneedsbest.

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CHAPTER6

PROMPTSYoursketchbookishandy,youhaveapen,buttheonethingmissingisinspiration.Sometimesyouneedalittlecheatsheetofpromptstokick-startyourdrawing.

Yourworldisallaroundyou,butwheretobegin?HowaboutwiththeletterA?

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AISFOR…

AnimalsWhetheritisafastsketchoramoreelaboratedrawing,ananimalisalwaysanamazinglycomplexsubjecttotackle.Tome,theyarethebestpracticeforpeopleportraits.Capturingthefeaturesonthefaceofagiraffeoradogisnotunliketheexplorationofthehumanface.

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AirportsJustthinkabouttheamountoftimeyouwillhavetositthere,waitingtoboardyourplane.Theseplacesjustbegtobesketched.Theyareintegralpartsofanytravelsketchbook.Andaircraftsareso“sketch-o-genic”,insideandout.

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BISFOR…

BagsThisisprobablyoneoftheitemsthatIhavedrawnthemostovertheyears.Justlikekeys,bagsareusuallywithyou,andifnotyourown,youcandrawsomeoneelse’s.Drawyourbagfromabovewhileit’sonthefloororonachairnexttoyou.Drawyourbagateyelevel,asitsitsonthetable,andyouslouchinachair.Drawyourbagopenorclosed.Drawtotes,purses,backpacks,attachés,stringbags,plasticrecord-storebags,dogcarriers,luggage,andgrocerybags.

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BananasAndyWarholandtheVelvetUndergroundshouldnotdeteryoufromtryingyourownspinonbananas.Aswithhats,bananasarethings

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tryingyourownspinonbananas.Aswithhats,bananasarethingswhoseshapewethinkweknowbuthavetorefrainfromdrawingthewaywebelievetheyare,orwewilldrawyellowmoons.

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CISFOR…

CarsIguessittakesacertainaffinityforcarstoenjoydrawingthem.AtleastthisistheonlywayIcanexplainhavingdrawnsomanysinceIwasakid.IwishIhadenoughtimetositanddrawthemonlocation;thatiswhymostofthoseIdrawcomefrompictures.Tosome,drawingfromphotographsisblasphemy,butnottome.Youdowhatyoucanwiththemeansyouhave.Forinstance,IhaveneverseenaMorrisMinorinreallife,butIhavedrawnseveral.

OlderJapanesemodels,whentheyfirstappearedontheAmericanmarket,likethefirstHondas,Toyotas,Datsuns,andSubarus,areamongthemostbeautifullydesignedcars.Butmypersonalall-timefavoriteisthelateeightiesVolvo240wagon,whichIwasluckytoownonce.

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ChairsForsuchacommonobject,achaircanbetrickytodraw.Andthat’swhyyoushouldhaveasmanychairscoveringthepagesofyoursketchbooksasyoucan:chairsinwaitingrooms,chairsinyourdiningroom,chairsstacked,officechairs,armchairs,reupholsteredarmchairs,seats,chairsupsidedown,brokenchairs,andpaddedchairs.Andevenifyouweretoonlyhaveonechairaroundyouyourentirelife,adifferentanglecanturnitintoawholenewobject.

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CupsCylinders(oranythingremotelycylindrical)isthebestpracticeforoneofthehardestshapestodraw:ellipses.Dependingonwhetheryouarelookingdown,facing,orlookingupatacup,thecurveswillberounderorflatter.

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DISFOR…

DeskItshouldbeamessydesk,preferably.Stepback,grabachair,lookatyourdesk.Lookatacolleague’sdesk.Thereisalottheretodraw,evenifthedeskisclearofclutter.Itwillbefullofseeminglyunattractivefeatures,likethewiresofacomputer.

Idonotdrawtoglamorizemyeverydaylife.Itsownlackofglamourappealstome.ThebackofaPCissougly,itisfuntosketch.Haveyoulookedatthecomputeryouhavetouseatwork?

Doyouworksurroundedbypublicschoolfurniture?HaveyoufullygraspedthedesignblandnessofSteelcasedesks?

IfIwaswaitingformysurroundingstobeexcitingandinspiringinordertodrawthem,Iwouldseldomopenmysketchbook.TheDouglasCoupland–esqueenvironmentinwhichIworkeverydaydoesnotdetermefromlayingitdownonpaper;onthecontrary:celebratedullness,Isay.

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EISFOR…

EllipsesIcandrawthemoverandoverandstillfeelasifitisthefirsttimeIhavedrawnone.Theyarejustobnoxiouslyelusive.

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ExcerptsYoucandrawsomethinginitsentiretyoryoucanopttosketchanexcerptofit.Justisolateapieceandfocusonthat:apieceofabag,someone’spants,adetailofacar,acornerofabuilding,anornament,theframeofabike.

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FISFOR…

FacesIwasoncetoldthatyoushoulddrawafaceasyouwouldalandscape,notworryingaboutwhetheryouaredoinganosenexttoacheeknexttoanear,butratheracurvythinghereandaroundershapethere,allinrelationwithoneanother.Ibelieveitisindeedagreatwaytooverridewhatyourleftbrainisgoingtoinevitablywanttodo,andthatistellyouwhatanose,acheek,oranearshouldlooklike.Isuggestgoingalloutatfirstanddrawingfaceswithapen.Beunapologeticallywrongaboutyourproportionsatfirst.Butwhatyoushouldtrytoconvey,nomatterwhat,iswhatyousee.Onethingyouwillfindoutisthateyesarerarelywhitenearthepupil.Also,thebottomoftheeyelidwillmostlikelynotshow,soresistthetemptationtodrawathicklineunderneaththeeye.Staymindfulofthevolumeoftheskullatalltimes.Therearelotsofmountainsandvalleysonthosefacesofours.

Drawstrangers.Donotworryaboutresemblance.Paynomindtothosewhosay“itdoesn’tlooklikehim.”Keepdrawing.Ifwewantedperfectresemblance,wewouldhavewhippedoutanSLRorwouldhaveusedoneofthose“turnanyphotointoapencildrawing”apps.Youwillhaveplentyoftimetobepreoccupiedwithresemblanceifyougetcommissionportraits.Rightnow,drawstrangers.Findfacesinmagazinesanddrawthem.Findpicturesofoldpeopleanddrawthem.Finishornot.Doonlyhalfifyoudon’thavethetime.

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FoldsinFabricHowtorenderfoldsonfabricisoneofthemanytechniquesIhavegleanedfromlookingtirelesslyatsketchesofMichelangeloandthepaintingsofIngres.SearchforPrincesseAlbertdeBroglieanddelightforawhileathowthelighthitsthefabricofherdress.Becausethat’swhatdrawingfoldsforcesyoutodo:knowwherethesourceoflightcomesfrom,andhowtorefrainfromcrosshatchingtoomuchsoastoletthelightshow.Trypants,socks,andjacketsinpenorpencil,becauseinmymind,theyareequallyastricky.Youcanevendrawtheheadofasleepingbabyinthere.

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GISFOR…

GlassesInowhavetowearglassesfordriving.Thisisanotherobjectthatisdeceptivelysimplebutfullofasymmetryonceyoustartdrawingit.Unless,ofcourse,youchoosetodrawafrontalviewofapairofeyeglasses.

Lookatthecoollittleshadowsglassesmakeonthetableanddrawthose,too.

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HISFOR…

HousesYoumayormaynotliveinahouse.Infact,Iwouldn’tusemyownhouseasthefirstdrawingofahouseIwouldeverdo.It’salmostlikedrawingaperson’sfeatures:you’rebetteroffstartingwithastranger,asyourownknowledgeorsomeonemightinterferewithyouractualperceptionoftheirphysicaltraits.Stoponthesideoftheroad,sitonthesidewalk,anddraw.

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HatsAhatwillforceyouto“unthink”thewayyouthinkitshouldbedrawn.Youhavetofocusonwhatyouseeratherthanonwhatyoubelieveahattobe.

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HallwaysAgreatwaytodrawperspectivelineswithouthavingtostepoutdoorsistodrawhallways.Theymaylookbarrenwhenyoujustlookatthem,butwhenyousitinthemiddleofoneandstartsketching,don’tbesurprisedtofindalotoflittlenooksandimperfections.

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HandsIfyouareupforachallenge,thekindthatcankeepyougluedtothepaperforhours,drawyourhands.Drawthemfromlifeorinamirror.Youcanevendrawthemfrompicturessoyoucanhavemoreunusualangles.Practicingdrawinghands,whetherquicklyorwithmoredetail,isasfrustratingattimesasitisrewarding.Thereissomuchintricacytorenderthatyouwillhavetoforceyourselftoseelikeasculptor.AnysculpturebyRodinorMichelangelowillshowyouhowdifficultitistorenderthethree-dimensionalityofhands.

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IISFOR…

InventoriesChooseathemeanddraweverythingthatcanfitinit:thecontentsofacarepackagereadytobeshipped,tools,yourplaceroombyroom.ThepersonwhoinspiredmetostartmakinglittleinventoriesisGregoryL.Blackstock,anautisticartisticsavant.Hisworkwillastoundyou.

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JISFOR…

JoinedWhichisanotherwaytosaysuperimposedoroverlapping.Lettingyoursketchesoverlaponapageisanotherliberatingaspectofbeingthemasterofyourlittlesketchbook.Youhavefreerein.Letthedrawingsgowheretheywill.HereisanexampleofaquickstudyIdidofmyfriendandcolleagueSue.Iwasnotdoingaformalportrait,buttryingtocaptureher“Sue-ness”sotospeak,inpencil.

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KISFOR…

KitchenThekitchenhasbeencentraltothelifeofourlittlefamily:thisiswherewecookandwashdishes,butthere’salsoalittlecraftstable,windows,anironingtable,andsixdoors…andaseriouswaterleak.Andbecausedrawingfitsintheflowoflife,thekitchenisperfectlysuitableforsketching.Everyangleoffersadrawingopportunity.Whetheryouopenthefridgeorthepantrytodrawitscontents,drawthedirtyorthecleandishes,keepyourkitchenislandclearofclutterorburiedundertheday’sshuffle,thepossibilitiesareendless.

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KeysDrawyourkeys.Evenifallyoulivewithisonekey,drawit:indifferentangles,indifferentcontexts,incolororblackandwhite,upcloseorfromadistance.Keysareso“sketch-o-genic.”Andmostlikely,theyarealwaysatarm’sreach.

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LISFOR…

LivingRoomIfIcanstayawakelongenoughtodoaquicksketchfromthecouchintheevening,letitbeasketchoftheroom.IusuallystartwiththeTVandworkmywayaround.Howwillyoustartyours?

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MISFOR…

MeetingsIfyourprofessionallifeinvolvesattendingmeetings,don’tforgettogowithyoursketchbookinyourhand.Thesesketchesaresomewherebetweendoodlesandrecording.Thesearegreatopportunitiestositinthebackoftheroomandpracticedrawingwhilefocusingonyoursubjects,blind-contourstyle,ratherthanonthepaper.Thereisnotimeforcomposition,justforcapturingpeoplewhotendtomove.Andifyouarriveearlyatthemeeting,sketchthelobby!Ibelievethereisahugebenefittodrawingwhilelisteningtosomeonemakingapresentation,andthisiswhyIrarelystopmystudentsfromdrawingduringclass.Iattendedmeetingsthatmyhusbandcouldn’tattend;totellhimwhatwasdiscussed,IhadtogobacktomysketchbooktoseewhatIhaddrawn.Lookingatthedrawingswaslikereplayingwhathadbeensaid.

Mymeetingdoodlesoftenfeaturemycolleaguesfromtheback,whichofcourseisawaytodrawpeoplewithouthavingtoburdenmyselfwiththeirfacialfeatures(andthereforemessthemup).Inotherwords,thesearesomeprettycowardlysketchesfroma“let’sventureoutofourcomfortzone”pointofview!

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Thereisalsotheoptionofavoidingpeoplealtogetherandjustdrawingthevenue.

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IhavealsoattendednumerousworkshopsduringwhichIhadtotakenotes,butIcouldnothelpdrawingamongthewords.Thereisaphenomenonouttherecalledsketchnotes.Someofthesketchnotesshowcasedonlinemakeminelookliketheyareintheirinfancy.AttendinghoursofPowerPointpresentationsannuallyisanintegralpartoftheteachingprofession,andIhaveonlystartedtoexploreallthewaysIcantranslatewhathappensduringthosepresentationstopaper.Gettingbetteratsketchnotesisagoalofmine.

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MessesWewouldn’tbedrawingourtruedailylivesifwebypassedthemessesweorotherpeopleleaveontables,wouldwe?

Ifitweren’tforhowmessymyworkplaceandmyhomeare,Iwouldn’tdrawhalfofthetime.Whyaremessesgreattodraw?TheyoffercompleterandomnessandfeaturesthatIparticularlyseekwhenI

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completerandomnessandfeaturesthatIparticularlyseekwhenIdraw:lotsoflittleorbigthingstogether.Thegarageistheidealplacetofindaguaranteedmess,butsometimesyoumaynothavetolookmuchfurtherthanyourcoffeetable,especiallyifyouhaveakidaround.

The“building”ofthesketchofamessalwaysstartswithalittledetail,usuallyanobjectthatisunobstructed,andIbuildaroundit.Desksfullofstuffaremostappealing,becausethemesswillchangefromoneweektothenext,offeringendlessinspiration.Otherpeople’smessesarealwaysmorecomfortabletome;sinceIdon’tneedtocleanup,Iamfreeduptodraw.

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Page 199: Sketch! The Non-Artist's Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life

NISFOR…

NecksThisiswhatyouendupdrawingalotwhenyousitinthebackofaroomandusethepeopleinfrontofyouasyoursubjects.

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OISFOR…

OceanIhaveonlyeversketchedtheoceaninblackandwhite.Ibringmysketchbooktothebeachandletsandgetinthegutter.Drawingtheoceanisanexerciseinrestraint;inotherwords,itistheoppositeofdrawingamessonatable.

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PISFOR…

PensandPencilsDrawingwhatyoudrawwithisprobablyariteofpassageinthegrowthofasketcher.WhilemyabilitytodrawmysupplieswillneverequaltheworkofAndreaJoseph,Ikeepdrawingthem.WhatwouldIdowithoutthem?Youcanalsodrawinventoriesofthem.

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QISFOR…

QuasiDrawingsThesearethedrawingsyouhavetoacceptandfromwhichyoucanmoveon.Mysketchbooksarefullofthem,anditwouldbedisingenuousofmetoclaimtheydonotaffectorfrustrateme,eventoday.Sohereareafewatrocities.Inthefirstone,Imissedtheperspective,asifIhadmissedaturn,andtheshowergotstuckthere.Ihadtodropitthereandstartanewone.

Forthe1962BuickInvicta,IdonotknowwhatcameuponmeandmademethinkIcouldsketchacaronsuchthinpaperwithsuchathickpen.Ihateditwithinminutes,butthoughtthatsomehowIcouldmakeitwork.

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Therearealsotimeswhenitjustdoesnotcometogetherasadrawing.It’sjustabunchoflinesthatdonotseemtowanttogetalongandcohere.Thisisaperfectexampleofsomethingprettyinnocuousinshape:arectangle.IshouldstayawayfromplasticandthinkIcanrenderitwithanoverloadofwatercolor.

Igooutoptimisticallywithmyfold-upchair,thinkingIamgoingtosketchmytownandendupwithanunfortunatepaletteofcolors,wrongproportions,andabigyellowmarkonthestreetrightinfrontofme.

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NotethatIdonotincludeblindcontourdrawings,whicharevisualcatastrophesbydefinition,becauseIdonotregardthemasfailures.Theyaretools.

Thoughifyoulookatitfromtherightperspective,allquasi-drawingsaretools—toolsbywhichyoulearntoimprove.

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RISFOR…

RestaurantsSecondonthelist(afterairports)ofplaceswhereyouareboundtowait,restaurantsareperfectspacestodrawwithminimaldisruption.Iusedtofeeltentativeaboutgoingtoarestaurantbymyself,butIhavedoneitsomuchthatitdoesnotfazemeintheleastnow.Ilovesittingatatableanddrawing.

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SISFOR…

ScissorsDoyouhaveapairnearby?Gogetthem.Getyourkids’scissorsifyoucan’tfindyourown.Lookatthem.Lookathow“sketch-o-genic”theyare.Thecurves,thestraightlines.Wherethelighthits.Whathappenswhenyoulookatthemstraightfromabove.Whathappenswhenyouloweryourgazeandyouseetheforeshorteningeffectoftheperspective.Openthem,andtheyalmostbecomeanotherobject.Theyarefascinatingtodraw,verticallyorhorizontally,ingroupsoralone.Ilovescissors.

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Page 208: Sketch! The Non-Artist's Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life

ShoesBabyshoes,workshoes,sneakers,theshoeslyingaroundtheentrancedoor,brand-newshoes,boots,sandals:IcannotthinkofashoeIdidnothavefundrawing.Theyareeverywhereandtheyareintricate.Aswedidwithcups,lookatthemfromaboveorputoneonthetable(onapapertowel,ofcourse),anddrawaway.Usepenorpencil.Youwillnottireofdrawingshoes.

Ihavenotkeptmydaughter’sfirstshoes,howevercutetheselittlesize5shoeswere.Instead,Irecordedthemonpaper.

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5shoeswere.Instead,Irecordedthemonpaper.

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TISFOR…

TambourinesThisentryshouldsay“Trees.”Goanddrawtrees.Ijusthavenotyetbeensuccessfuldrawingthem:IhaveyettofigureouthowtodealwiththefoliagesoIdonotgetoverwhelmedinthemiddleofadrawing.Treesandnudes(figuredrawing)areonmyto-dolist.Inthemeantime,Idrawmydaughter’stambourine.

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UISFOR…

UselessDrawuselessthingsbeforeyoupartwiththemforgood.Thenyouwillnothavetoholdontothem.

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VISFOR…

VegetablesIhavestruggledtorendertheshapeandvolumeofpeppers.Tothisday,Ihavenotfoundaneasyrecipetocapturethatvegetableonpaperordigitally—itsshapeisalwayselusivetome,nomattertheangle.ForthedozensofpotatoesIhavesketched(seethispage),thereisonlyahandfulofothervegetablesIhavelaiddownonpaper.Thereissomethingunmistakableandhonestabouttheshapeofapotato.Evenabadly-drawnpotatowillmostlikelyberecognizedandthereforeyieldafeelingofsatisfactioninthepersonwhodrewit.Peppersoffernosuchgratification.Theydemandlabor,andafteryouhavefinishedsketching,youarenotguaranteedtobehappywiththeresults—farfromit.Inotherwords,drawmorepeppers.

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WISFOR…

WorkspaceThereistheworkplace,thereiswork,andthereisourlittlecorneroftheworld,whereourstuffbelongs.Minehasbeenprettymuchthesameforyears,whetherIlivedintheUnitedStatesorabroad:afive-footplankofFormicaontrestles,withplentyofspacefordrawing,spreadingpapers,andscanning.Infrontofmydesk,hangingonthewall,IhaveasignthatIhadfoundinBrussels,whichreads,inDutch:“Whetheryoupaint,sculpt,create,experiment,paintwatercolors,makeceramics,makecalligraphy,onethingisforsure,youmakeART.”

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Page 218: Sketch! The Non-Artist's Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life

XISFOR…

XylophoneIpersonallyhaveneverhadachancetodrawone.Awalkdowntothebandroomatmyschoolisinorder.

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YISFOR…

YourselfThisisabigone.OnewithwhichIhavestruggled.Ihaveattemptedtwoself-portraitssofar,andtheyhavebothendedupmakingmelooklikeatireddude.ItisasifIamabouttobetookindtomyself,soImakesureIsabotagemyface,lestIshouldbedubbedvain.OrperhapswhatIhavedrawniswhatIlooklikeandIhavebeenfoolingmyselfforthepastfewdecades.TalkaboutsheddingperceptionsofmyselfandtrulyperceivingwhoIam.

Thisismynextassignment.

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ZISFOR…

ZenNeighborsofminehaveadornedtheirentirestreetwithlittlepilesofstones:onepileneareachhomeonthestreet.TheonlyexplanationIhavefortheseisZen.ButImaybewayofftrack.

Somepilestones,whileothersdraw.

Ultimately,indrawingyourdailylife,youaregoingtofindsomethingthatyoumaynothavesoughtfromthebeginning:asenseofharmony,andperhapsevenasenseofbelongingwithwhatsurroundsyou.

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andperhapsevenasenseofbelongingwithwhatsurroundsyou.

Upuntilrecently,Ihadonlystayedinoneplaceforacoupleofyearsbeforemoving.Ihadnoanchorandnoconstantforagoodportionofthepasttwodecades.AndwhiletheconceptofhomeisstillnothingmorethantheplacewhereIgetmail,drawingthelifearoundmehashelpedmehangmyhatsomewhere,andlearntolovewhatthatsomewhereis.

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ABOUTTHEAUTHOR

Portraitbytheauthor’sdaughter.

FranceBelleville-VanStoneisahighschoolFrenchteacherwhogrewupinMontbéliard,France.ShedevelopedafascinationwiththeEnglishlanguageinherteensthroughBruceSpringsteen,LeonardCohen,andJohnSteinbeck.ShemovedtotheUnitedStatesonateachingassistantshipatPennStateUniversityafterfinishingherMaster’sinAmericanStudiesatUniversitéStrasbourgII.

Despitenothavingstudiedartpastmiddleschool,in2006shelaunchedablogofsketches,wagonized(inreferencetoherinfatuation

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witholdVolvowagons),asameanstomotivateherselftodrawonadailybasis.Asaresultofblogging,shehashadtheopportunitytomeetandsketchwithfellowartistsfromaroundtheworld.HerdrawingswerefeaturedinDannyGregory’sAnIllustratedLifein2008.

ShecurrentlylivesinanoldhouseinruralNorthwesternNewJerseywithherfurniture-upholstering,pergola-building,ukulele-playinghusbandandtheirdaughter.Shewilloftenbefoundsketchingwithacatonherlap.

Hersketchesaredocumentedatwww.wagonized.com.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

AbigthankyoutoLisaBuchfortakingmeonthisadventure.

RaheliHarper,meetingyouhashadconsequencesthathaverangedfarbeyondwhatyoucouldimagine.

Tomyfellowbloggersandfriends,fromtheearlydaysuntilnow,thankyouforyourinspiration:SuzanneandEdgarCabrera,AndreaJoseph,JoanYoshioka,DannyGregory,JurgenVerfaillie,JujWinn,PaulHeaston,AmandaKavanagh,StephenGardner,LizSteel,Lapin,LauraFrankstone,MiguelHerranz,GabrielCampanario,WaltTaylor,MarianaMusa,OlivierGoupil,RyanWolf,RyanWhite,WendyMcNaughton,andKathleenYork.

Thankyoutotheteamofpeoplewhomadethisbookhappen:MichelleThompsonfordesigningtheinterior;AngelinaCheneyandChristinaJirachachavalwongforthecover;andMargauxKeresforhelpingwiththedesignproduction.

ThankyoutomyeditoratTenSpeedPress,KaitlinKetchum,forbeingmyanchorthroughouttheprocess.

Thankyou,Tom,forbeingasuperpapawhileIwastypinganddrawingaway.

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Aairports

angle

animals

apps,5.1,5.2

Bbags

bananas

blendingtools

blindcontour

brushes

Brushesapp,5.1,5.2

Ccars

chairs

drawing

fold-up

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color,adding,3.1,3.2

colorpencils

completion,redefining

crosshatching,3.1,3.2,3.3

cups

Ddesks

digitalsketching

appsfor,5.1,5.2

withfingertip

plusesandminusesof

possibilitiesof

onsmartphones,5.1,5.2

stylusesfor,5.1,5.2

doodling

drawing

acquiringskillsof,1.1,1.2

motivationsfor,1.1,6.1

asprocess,1.1,1.2,1.3

seeingand

talentand,1.1,1.2

Seealsodigitalsketching;fastsketching;supplies;techniquesE

ellipses,6.1,6.2

erasers

excerpts

expectations,readjusting,4.1,4.2,4.3

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Ffabric,foldsin

faces,6.1,6.2

fastsketching

completionand

expectationsand,4.1,4.2

withimprovisedsupport

processof,4.1,4.2

sketchbookfor

subjectsfor

tipsfor,4.1,4.2

upsideof

Gglasses

Hhallways

hands

hats

houses

Iinventories

iPad.Seedigitalsketching

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Kkeys

kitchens

Llayers,adding,5.1,5.2,5.3

leadholders

livingrooms

looseningup

Mmarkers

meetings

messes

mistakes,4.1,5.1,5.2,6.1

Nnecks

Oocean

overlappingsketches

Ppaper,2.1,2.2,2.3

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Paperapp,5.1,5.2

pencils

color

drawing

typesof

pens

drawing

typesof

pressure

Procreateapp,5.1,5.2

prompts

Qquasidrawings

Rrestaurants,4.1,6.1

Sscissors

self-portraits

shoes,4.1,6.1

sketchbooks

buying

carryingaround

sizesof

typesof

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smartphones,drawingon,5.1,5.2.Seealsodigitalsketching

stools,folding

styluses,5.1,5.2

supplies

buying

portabilityof,2.1,2.2

qualityof

Seealsoindividualsupplies

support,improvising

Ttablets.Seedigitalsketching

talent,1.1,1.2

techniques

blindcontour

color,adding,3.1,3.2

crosshatching,3.1,3.2,3.3

looseningup

pressureandangle

time,finding,4.1,4.2.Seealsofastsketching

trees

Uuselessthings,drawing

Vvegetables

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Wwatercolors,2.1,3.1

workspaces

Xxylophone

Yyourself

Zzen