Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sketch Like The Wind, You Fool

I'm speaking to myself.

I can't show what I am working on for my next book, because it is still revealing itself to me, and I have a ways to go. But I can show snippets of sketch therapy. Writers must write to see if they are still alive. Artists must sketch to see if their pen still works.

Seriously, folks, if you are an artist, then you must sketch just for the halibut.

Sketching is to the artist what A-1 oil is to ball bearings. Or, if you prefer, sketching for the artist is what waffle iron bumps are to the waffle. We're talking Belgium waffles.

Oh, what is it with words, they just lay there and stare back at you. O.K., I've got it, sketching is like your piano exercises. Do your scales, Richy. Da,da,da,da,da,da,da, da, da. I'm bored already, what good are these? I'll play jazz instead. Oh, little did I know that my Bach inventions depended on those exercises.

I like to give myself challenges. So, sometimes when I am sitting in the car, or on the ferry or anywhere in public, I try to sketch passers-by. If you try this, it gives you anywhere from ten to twenty seconds to grab their image. Their essence. Their gestalt. The gist of them. Their locomoco.

These exercises are invaluable to me, when I want to lighten up in my work. I am not trying to do great art, but I am trying to see, to capture. Catch and release.

Sketching is like stretching before a soccer game. If it's windy out then it's like being a leaf. Go with the breeze. Just sketch what comes. I wonder if Bach played soccer?


BJW said...

This is awesome. Especially like the Catch and release. Clever.

Love these. Very nice.


storyqueen said...

This is completely fascinating! I fell like I've just walked down the street.

The importance of practice. Yes.

ruthie said...

mmm, i do get this, its the stretching bit i keep forgetting to do! then wonder why i am having trouble with my flexibility lol . . . love those sketches, my fave in life drawing was the 5min sketch, i loved the freeness it gave me.

jesse joshua watson said...

these are great, man! love your sketch style so much!!

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Whaddykno, I accidentally disabled my comment button. Fixed now...

Thanks, B.

Shelley, the sketching helps us really see the street doesn't it?

Ruthie,it is like stretching, or yoga or something. I continually need to lighten up in my art. Yeah the 5min. sketch is essential, in life drawing, if I don't do them my art is nervous and koinky.

Thanks, Jesse. And thanks for telling me about the dis-abled doo-dad.

tlc illustration said...

I love these - how fast and free they feel. The 'capture and release' concept is very apropos as well. I should try more really fast sketching/captures... I get bogged down much to quickly.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Yeah, I like to do really detailed stuff (obviously). But one time I was teaching drawing to some guys at a maximum security prison (Corcoran)and I was fussing away on this drawing as my demo. One of my students came up to me and showed me his fast and furious sketch which blew me away with its energy. I often think of that to help me loosen up already....

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