I used to be vehement (adamant?) about drawing from life in the sketchbook. While it is true I still hold the sentiment that one of the best forms of artistic discovery does lie in drawing from observation, (and ya just CAN’T draw a bicycle or horses correctly from memory) I’ve since modified this belief for several reasons. Principally, since becoming a mom my time has become a series of slots throughout the day, most of which are taken up by caring for my toddler, M. The rest of the slots are generally allotted for chores (no longer having ANY clean underwear, for example) or appointments. This leaves just a very small slot for me in the evenings to draw, so I need to figure out what to sketch, and fast.
Sometimes the opportunity presents itself for drawing from observation, other times I utilize reference photos I take myself, and sometimes–like today– I’ll just dream up something. The mental image usually comes to me at some point throughout the day, making itself clearer as the day progresses, only to be completely sharpened once I put it to paper.
I mentioned I’ve been on an “old masters” kick recently (Maybe not the old old masters…more like the 19th century-masters? The Impressionistic masters?) and because of this I’ve rediscovered the luscious, page-scratchingly tasty wonders of compressed and vine charcoal. In fact, I think I’m falling in love!
Sorry, watercolors, we might need to take a little break. It’s not you, it’s me. Promise.