Artistic Musings > Sketching with a Purpose

HatSketchesMy process is one in which I must evaluate alternatives. That isn’t always easy. But it is, indeed, FUN!

Composition of value shapes, subject, space divisions and all of that “stuff” is most important in order to take something and push it until it becomes a terrific painting.

HatSketches4Here is an example . . . First a photo from the internet. Obviously, I cannot copy, but I can use it as a beginning idea on which to base many different designs.

My greatest concern when I am in this mode is not to make a picture, but a striking composition of dark and light shapes, put into the right places and interesting to look at. It doesn’t matter if the nose is right. I am more interested in designing fascinating shapes of light and strong darks that will set off the light shapes. Or, the opposite.

HatSketches3This is as much recreation and relaxing as it is repetitive. My purpose is to just punch out as many alternates as I can come up with. Often it begins with a mere line drawn across the rectangle to divide the space up somehow. Then, fit the shapes into and around that as best I can. It usually happens in the early morning with a hot cup of coffee, near a window with my sketch book in my lap with a few pencils nearby . . .and no eraser.

HatSketches2Yup! No eraser. If I don’t like what I have done, I just make another in the next blank rectangle, . . .then another, and another. It isn’t long before a bunch of those rectangles are filled and I begin to get excited about what I might discover in them. Just keep the pencil moving and don’t think about a subject. Just look at sizes, shape design and positions of light and dark shapes. After a while, it becomes habit forming. Then there is the contest to see how many I can come up with. In this case, 50 sketches appeared . . .and several paintings! (none of which even closely resembled the photo).

Next: Hat Abstractions