Sunday, July 25, 2010

a new start, with new marks. Sort of.

new marks, originally uploaded by Sophie_vf.
In the last while I've been feeling paralyzed when confronted with a blank page, not least because I've been feeling really dissatisfied with my attempts to draw people, either faces or figures.

Part of this is lack of practice, but part is also that I've gotten into a rut. I believe that we make characteristic markings when drawing, in exactly the same way that we have a characteristic way of making letterforms when handwriting. The muscles of the hand move along familiar paths that are as habitual to us as gait, and so naturally these familiar movements cause us to draw in the same way. This seems to be how it works for me, anyway.

So, in an attempt to shake myself up, I thought I'd at the very least change my tools. I normally draw in a small notebook with a pen or mechanical pencil, because that's what I normally have with me when I'm waiting, and I normally draw while waiting. But since it's summer, I pulled out a larger pad of paper, and a pencil I found in my old room at my parents house, and took an entirely different grip, the kind where the shaft of the pencil lies on the inside of your hand. And while my son slept, I quickly got this.

I'm not displeased with it or anything, but even with the change of tools and grip, I still got something that looks an awful lot like this earlier version. Perhaps, because the features of his face are still so familiar to my eye, I can't help coming up with something very similar.

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