...and what a delight! So much fast, loose, sloppy, expressive art. In Dare to Sketch, author Felix Scheinberger shares his own sketchbooks along with a whole lot of tips to give you ideas and get you started. I've been turning the pages, dipping in here and there, and ogling the artwork. And it's been a really fun reminder to stop and just play sometimes. Lately I've been so focused on projects that I haven't spent much time just messing around with pen & paper. This book is a playful nudge to just let go and draw fast and loose, and not worry about the results. I tend to be a details person, fussing ever-so-carefully over every single line. But some of my favorite art doesn't aim for perfection - it just aims for expression. And the thing is, art is never perfect. But if it's not expressive, what's the point?
I'm going to try to spend more time just screwing around and seeing what happens. So far, the image up top of a friend working in his home office, and this collection of grumpy old men:
For the faces above, I reacquainted myself with blind contour drawing, which is when you draw (almost) entirely without looking. And it's really fun! Sometimes an eye ends up over an ear, or a face doesn't quite sit on a head. The results are kind-of abstract, but also interesting and expressive. I found I got better with my aim as I moved across the page. I really like how that last face on the bottom right came out, so deeply shadowed and stern.
For both of these pages of sketches, I used a super fine Pilot Hi-Tec-C 03 pen, which is water-soluble. Then I went over my work with a fine Aquash water brushpen, to make the ink bleed and create shading. I'm a big fan of both these tools, especially for sketching. The sketchbook is a teeny-weeny Moleskine filled with watercolor paper. I love this sketchbook because it fits in a super tiny purse, or even in a pants-pocket. Art on the go!
Here are a few more images from the book:
...if you want some inspiration for your own sketch journals, this book is a great place to start!
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[IMAGE #1 DESCRIPTION - featured image: A greyscale ink sketch of a man with a beard and long ponytail, viewed from the right side while working on a laptop at a desk. His chin rests on his left hand, and his right rests on the keyboard. On the far side of him is a large bookcase filled with books, jars, medicine bottles, a coffee mug, a jar of pens, pencils and scissors, etc. In front of the desk, on the right side of the drawing, is a window with lace curtains. The drawing is done in loose fast lines in black ink, with grey watery shading.]
[IMAGE #2 DESCRIPTION: A photo of the book Dare to Sketch by Felix Scheinberger. The book is a library book with a blue cover, with loose black line drawings of pens, pencils, and a pencil case vertically along the left side of the book. The book is photographed against a stone background with some plant detritus here and there.]
[IMAGE #3 DESCRIPTION: A photo of a sketchbook page featuring 8 drawings of the faces of various grumpy old men. One wears glasses, one wears black sunglasses, and one has a longish beard and a mustache. The drawings are done in loose fast lines in black ink, with grey watery shading.]
[IMAGE #4 DESCRIPTION: A photo of pages 138-139 of Dare to Sketch by Felix Scheinberger. Page 138 includes the text, "The journeying artist is not a tourist", and features an illustration of an ancient wall and a bridge to a gothic archway filled with bustling people. The book is photographed against a stone background with some plant detritus here and there.]
[IMAGE #5 DESCRIPTION: A photo of pages 106-107 of Dare to Sketch by Felix Scheinberger. Page 138 includes the text, "Portraits and caricature", and features a wide assortment of large freely sketched faces in loose erratic lines. In the upper left corner is a smaller image of two pages of a sketchbook featuring another face in black ink on yellow paper. The book is photographed against a stone background with some plant detritus here and there.]