I love those fast, loose drawings you see in sketch books. You know the ones – a single line represents the arch in the back and cascades down to form the bend in the knee. When I first see it, I marvel at how light, how free it is. The energy from the lines translates the movement of the subject. It’s beautiful and perfect, deep and simple.
Until I try it.
Mine look more like cave drawings (provided there is a way to make a frivolous line in stone). I spent too much time on the details. I spent no more than 60 seconds on each drawing but I see now that I wasn’t as concerned about the lines as I was the details. Maybe using pen was a bad idea, too. Pencil seems faster, looser and less committed. A second look at the Drawing Lab directions reveals Sonheim did suggest a soft pencil. Whoops.
My cat’s head does not look like this but is a great example of my getting too bogged down with details.
I do like what I did here with the cat’s feet so perhaps there is hope.
There is something about this technique that I really enjoy and in which I am terribly deficient. Maybe that’s why I like it so much.
I think this technique calls for practice. For me, it’s much harder than it looks. There’s a famous Picasso story about an admirer requesting he quickly sketch something on a napkin and protesting when asked for a significant sum, “But that only took you a minute!”. Picasso replies, “No, it took me 40 years.”
So look me up in 2053, and I’ll sketch my cat again.