|11/5/22 Graphite in Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook|
My next three crosshatched sketches from France Van Stone’s “critters” course were especially challenging because the reference photos were taken in flat light: Neither strong shadows nor highlights could be seen easily. I did my best to squint out the values. It was informative to see where France pushed the darks in her demo drawings made from the same photos.
I took longer (45 minutes) than I typically would with the first cow (at right) because I drew it during another live draw-along session with France. It’s a bit fragmented to observe her while also trying to draw, but it’s fun to be “there” with other participants. I appreciate the effort she makes to interact with her students, some of whom have been drawing along with her since the early pandemic days. Then on the Sktchy platform, France used to offer weekly live draw-along sessions, which I can imagine were a wonderful opportunity to connect with a community during those difficult, isolated times.
|11/7/22 Bic ballpoint in S&B Alpha sketchbook|
|11/8/22 Bic ballpoint in Moleskine sketchbook|
When I began the purple cow, I started to measure in my usual way, but I stopped and challenged myself to eyeball the proportions. (I’m not brave enough to do this with portraits of people, but cows are more forgiving.) I know there’s nothing wrong with measuring for accuracy, but I think it’s also good practice to be able to do this only with my eyes.
After a nice run of graphite and colored pencils, I switched back to Bic ballpoints. As good as pencils feel, my results look less like crosshatching and more like sloppy penciling. On the other hand, France’s messy crosshatching techniques have shown me how to use a Bic in a way that I enjoy more than other ways I’ve tried with ballpoint. It has taken me a while, but I have a better appreciation for using this humble medium in a satisfying way.