Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Superpower of Choice

4/23/15 Sailor Doyou ink, Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook (from photo)
Remember the TV series “Heroes” from a few years back? It was about otherwise ordinary people who possessed various superpowers. Some abilities were of the typical comic-book variety, like flying, shapeshifting or invisibility. Some superpowers were just plain silly, like the guy who could melt toasters. Others were more useful in the contemporary world, like the little boy who could communicate directly with ATMs and computers (wouldn’t that be a useful superpower to have!).

If I could choose my superpower, there’s no doubt which one I would pick: the ability to not feel weather conditions. I could sketch outdoors in the middle of a sub-zero blizzard or in the blistering hot desert and feel as comfortable as I would in my 68-degree, climate-controlled home. (Or, for that matter, on a perfect spring day like last Sunday at the Chinese Garden.) My skin would repel rain, wind would swirl away from me, and the sun would never burn. That superpower would allow me to sketch anywhere in the world, in any season. Or just stay here in Seattle but be able to sketch outdoors every day of the year. Imagine the possibilities! Of course, I’d have to figure out how to shelter my sketchbook from the rain, but that would be easy compared to the rest.

(You can probably tell I’ve given this a lot of thought. Especially in winter. Or on a rainy spring day.)

Unfortunately, none of the TV heroes was able to choose their own superpower; they were stuck with what they were born with. If that’s the case, then my superpower would probably end up being something less useful, like the ability to sharpen pencils with a nostril. (The only pencils I use are colored, and they are notorious for destroying pencil sharpeners.)

Which sketcher superpower would you choose?

P.S. This sketch was inspired by part of a vintage photo I found in a magazine. That lovely color comes from Sailor Jentle Doyou ink, my current favorite brown.


  1. I would pick being able to balance everything I need en plein air without dropping something every time I move. lol Your superpower sounds useful I may have to rethink mine. Nice sketch!

    1. Joan, your choice of superpower would be really useful, too! I've often thought that having a third hand would be great for many things. ;-)

  2. LOL I really am literally laughing out loud. You have keyed into the perfect super power, though. Impervious to weather. YES! I, too, just hate to be cold. And the trade-off to what you really might get, the sharpening nostril just had me laughing.

    My choice of super power would be to freeze the effect of light and shadow until I had them down in my sketchbook. I would probably end up, instead, with telescoping legs that automatically activate at random and force me to sketch only aerial views. Fun, at first, but frustrating at times. Especially if I drop my pen!

    1. Oh, yeah -- freezing light and shadow would definitely be a good superpower to have! Telescoping legs -- not so much!


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