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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Let's talk about pencils

I used to proudly proclaim myself someone who sketched directly in pen.

It was a little like boasting about doing the New York Times crossword puzzle with ink. Kind of a hotdog maneuver. But lots of sketchers do it, and for good reason. Ink demands boldness. For some people who draw, working directly in ink means they're more careful about the lines they put down because they're not taking them back up again. I like it for a different reason: it makes me go unwaveringly in the direction of my dreams, like H.D.T. said. That's an important way of working sometimes.

But ink doesn't get me everywhere I want to go anymore. It doesn't get me to loose gesture. Pencil does that.

Today I found this dog with light pencil lines -- just light little lines finding their way, getting it wrong, then getting it more or less right. Ink helps me be strong. Pencil helps me be free. This especially matters when I'm trying to position a character and I don't have reference to work from. Or trying to describe the relationship of multiple objects in a single space. I like the ability to just move things around with a new line, knowing that once I get things more or less the way I want them, I can restate it all in ink.

Boldness is a key quality. But if we want to get better in terms of believability or accuracy, and control of the medium, we have to have a tool that invites correction.

But never mind that. How do you like my dog? :D

1 comment:

Pj Bennett said...

I really like your dog. I've been enjoying all your daily posts! I don't have your discipline, yet, to sketch everyday, but I'm working on it.