Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Tonight I observed a jazz ensemble class, took photos and did sketches in preparation for a magazine illustration. These make for some messy sketchbook pages, I'll tell you, because there's lots of movement and my hand likes to move faster than my brain. I might add that most musical instruments are complicated to draw, and are not my friend in a sketching-on-location kind of way. But I wasn't as uptight about this as I once would've been, for a couple of reasons.
First, I understand that in these situations the goal is not to have perfect sketchbook pages. Here the drawing is about noticing and recording. So even if my hand doesn't translate what I'm seeing (because it's impatient!), my brain is noticing how things really look. For instance, what does an elbow look like in a certain position? It may look sort of roundish, with just a little shadow where the bone itself protrudes.
Second, it's fun to get lost in sketching while people are playing music. And especially when people are playing music, then stopping, then a teacher is reminding them to listen to the tune on Youtube over and over and really get to know it.
It's fun to hear the teacher talk about the art of the music-making, and to help individuals work out difficulties. And it's especially fun to hear, over the course of an hour or so, the tune begin to come together and sound like a song and not just like pieces-parts. The listening brain and the drawing brain get along just fine in observational-drawing situations. (Not true with imaginative drawing. In those cases, I can't even have the radio on.)
So that was my evening. And this is my #dailydrawing, which I have now done consecutively for however many days we've had in 2014. That, too, makes things easier, by the way. The drawings themselves might not be getting hugely better, but when you draw every day, you feel less uptight about any one drawing. That's when the magic has the opportunity to sneak in.