Stories from my Sketchbook . . .
Last week’s homework from my ‘Seeing’ art class was to highlight the differences in how we see, what we see—and also what we don’t see—when we look at something really quickly as opposed to looking deeply and intently at the same object. It was a ‘quick, quick slow’ exercise.
The idea was to pick a ‘fairly complex’ object and to do a quick one-minute rough sketch of it in whatever medium we chose (I chose watercolour, just because it seemed easiest. HA! Shows you how much I know.) Once the initial sketch was completed we were then to slow right down and to spend the next half an hour, longer if preferred, to really look at the object and to add in the detail on top of the original sketch—correcting it as we went. Sounds easy enough doesn’t it? Mmmmm.
Well, first of all I don’t really do ‘one minute sketches’, in pencil, watercolour or any other medium. Nothing I have ever drawn in one minute has ever looked even vaguely akin to what I was attempting to copy. And this was no different. In hindsight I didn’t really think through attempting to sketch a green plant in a green pot and I guess I shouldn’t have been all that surprised that I ended up with a fuddled green blur and not much else.
But that was okay. I had the detail to add yet and detail is what I like, so this should be easy—right? Not so much. Turns out that I actually found it quite difficult to look past my original sketch and not just ‘follow the lines’ that I had originally set down. (Anyone else out there always taught to colour within the lines? It’s a hard habit to break.)
It took a couple of false starts but I eventually started to get the hang of it, although, as usual, the hardest part was knowing when to stop. (Even now I want to go back and work on it some more. I don’t like the pot . . . I’m not happy with the pot . . . Step away from the pen Sally—step away . . . )