Friday, October 12, 2007

Drawing with Imagination

This has got to be my all time favorite book on drawing. It's approachable. It's easy to get started. He explains doodling and noodling. He starts simple and builds the exercises from there. It's just fun to look at but it much more fun to try the little exercises.

You can flip through the book and really start anywhere the examples appeal to you. Or you can start at the front and build from there.

Some of my latest sketches have been drawn from this book.

crocs on porch
Originally uploaded by daveterry.
I've been sketching on watercolor paper 90 lb or 140 lb cold press. I buy the big pads then cut them to 4x6 cards. Next I binder clip them in small packets I can carry in my bag. As I have time I'll pull out the packet and sketch, sometimes while standing up. I put that card in the back to save as a postcard I can send to someone. Now I have my own stash of custom, hand drawn postcards. Since I sketch whatever catches my eye, I have a wide selection of subjects I can choose from. When I'm moved to send a card, I sort through my stash, jot a note, add a postcard stamp (they are cheaper) and drop it in the mail to a friend.

Sometimes the postcard sketch has nothing to do with the note I jotted and that causes my friends to question my sanity. But if they ask, I just tell them I really had no control, my other personality sent it.

I've bought a new sketch book for the upcoming China trip. I've already got a small Handbook (5.5 x 8) that I use for stoplight sketching. But for the trip I decided to buy the bigger one (I think it's 8 x 12 Landscape). I'll start sketching in it early, maybe while I pack. That way it's not completely blank when I board the plane.

The Handbooks are a lot cheaper than the watercolor Moleskines and there are more pages (120) in them. They come in a limited selection of colors so that at a glance you can tell what sketchbook you are reaching for. They hold up under abuse and have a clear pocket in the back cover similar to the Moleskine. The only thing I don't like about them is the canvas cover. I really like the shiny black cover of the Moleskine.

Those are just my choices. Your mileage may vary.

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. - John W. Gardner