Thursday, September 6, 2007

about the sketch experiment . . . - 2 comments

Welcome to the Hall of the Presidents! In my next round of Sketch Experimenting, I'll be drawing blind contours in a short series - each US President, in order. I'm taking all my source material from paintings in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

Oh, you've got questions? Fire away.

Yes, good question. Yes, I realize it's kind of dumb to be drawing such famous people. In fact, many of the Presidents have something of an 'approved' portrait, and so one image of them has become canonical. Is it stupid of me to draw from other, non-canonical sources, knowing that my drawings are competing with America's own self-image? Maybe. Will it be interesting? Yes!

Yes, this series is much shorter than the last one. It's not that the popes tired me out, exactly, but I was in the market for something a bit less demanding.

And oh, blind contours? Right. So - I find a source - in this case Presidential portraits - and do a drawing. Without picking up the pen, and without looking at my paper. It's one big contour, and it's blind. Then I take a look at the mess I've made and embellish a bit. I don't add any extra lines - really I just darken a few that seem to make the image more interesting. The whole blind contour thing is practice, really, to help me coordinate looking and drawing, but also it frees my over-thinking brain up to make some looser lines. And I like those. Looser lines.


Blogger Laura said...

Question: On average, how long does it take you to do one of these sketches?

September 26, 2007 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger matt kirkland said...

Answer! The blind contour part takes five or ten minutes. Then I go back in and darken a few lines to give the drawing some definition, which usually takes another twenty or so.

September 26, 2007 at 12:49 PM  

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