Friday, March 24, 2017

Over Fifty Consecutive Days of Pen and Ink Drawing

“From the age of 6 I had a mania for drawing the shapes of things. When I was 50 I had published a universe of designs. But all I have done before the the age of 70 is not worth bothering with. At 75 I'll have learned something of the pattern of nature, of animals, of plants, of trees, birds, fish and insects. When I am 80 you will see real progress. At 90 I shall have cut my way deeply into the mystery of life itself. At 100, I shall be a marvelous artist. At 110, everything I create; a dot, a line, will jump to life as never before. To all of you who are going to live as long as I do, I promise to keep my word. I am writing this in my old age. I used to call myself Hokusai, but today I sign my self 'The Old Man Mad About Drawing.”
― Hokusai Katsushika

I put up the quote by Hokusai as a reminder, if I appear self critical it's not at all because I am unhappy with drawing or painting but because I am trying to get better at it. I want to adopt Hokusai's attitude when it comes to drawing.

I have had over fifty consecutive days of drawing in my pen and ink sketchbook. While I enjoyed working in the sketchbook everyday it's only the past few days that I see any real progress. By progress I mean that I've gotten better at starting the drawing and at using the tools better and coming up with different ways of arriving at a finished drawing. I've used different pens and learned to make different marks with them. I am more comfortable at varying the weight of the line. There are things that I am learning to do better through constant practice.

 The consistency is more satisfying than any one drawing because I look forward to applying what I've learned to do better in my next drawing.

Friday, March 17, 2017

When You Feel Like Throwing In The Towel

Its  been a little while since I last posted on this blog. In that short time I started and left unfinished a number of paintings, continued to sketch in my pen and ink sketchbook and finished two illustrations, but it seems I'm not happy with most of what I've done.

There are times where it is hard to do any work because I am so disgusted with where I am at. I tell myself, " jeez, you really haven't improved much at all and at 53 why don't you just hang it up?"

Then I know I really can't, I like it to much to quit, but it is easy to get distracted when I feel this way. It is hard to be inspired to do work when you feel like you suck at it. The only thing that I can do is rely on discipline and work my way out of this rut.

So I continued to draw, even halfheartedly relying on the fact that after some time I will feel better about what I'm doing and try to do better work.

The drawings that I post here I felt were bright spots in my sketchbook.  The sketch of the older man in the cap was just a little sketch in my book on a page that had two other sketches but it was the thing that got me started. I approached it a little differently and I said to myself let me try doing it that way again and all of a sudden the act of doing it became more interesting. More fun.