Practice Drawing, I Asked Myself to

The title of this post is how today’s activity might be listed on a folder in my mental filing cabinet. Last year, I had an entry on my list of things to do in 2018 that concerned making a regular time for drawing. Sort of like the Marathon idea for my writing, the regular practice I have been doing weekly since the beginning of 2017.

Didn’t happen. I did do a lot of drawing during the year – you may remember the illustrations for Fictive Dream’s September Slam?

Or the illustrations for my two-line short story book, Minuscule?

Different things for a different year in 2019, I resolved! I want to spend some time, even an hour, in a designated drawing time each week. Though I’m not going to the same level of formality as for my Marathons right now, I want to make an appointment and meet it.

Today was the day I started to make good on this promise to myself. I dug out my pens and my sketch book. I wanted to go away from my house to do this drawing but the outside temperature was about 28 degrees F and blustery. Too cold for outdoors. So – I went to the Glenside Library and after picking up my books, I settled at a table in the reading area.

I will show you the results. But – I want to say – this is practice. I just want to pick up the pen and draw. This sketchbook is for scrawling away at the pages and for putting some miles on my pens.

I enjoyed myself, I will say that. How relaxing it was to focus on just…drawing. As a note, today I drew in the blind contour manner. I love how it feels to draw this way and I also like the results a lot.

Legs under a table.
This man was at the checkout desk.
This man was reading near me.
This guy was working on his computer. Until later, when he got into a conversation with an acquaintance about recent car troubles. Oh dear.
This is the view of the library I had from where I was sitting. You can see the effects of the blind contour method here very clearly. Those chairs are the same size in real life.
A man reading. When he left, I noticed the binder he had been studying was entitled “What to Say to Sellers”. No idea what that could mean, but it brings up a lot of ideas…
Shelves of large-print fiction very near to my location.
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11 thoughts on “Practice Drawing, I Asked Myself to

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    Wow! I am super impressed by the quality of your mark-making and your compositional skills given these are blind contour drawings. I too love that method of drawing. It really helps hone the eye’s observational skills and builds muscle memory for the hand.

  2. Claudia McGill Post author

    You know, it’s funny, everyone who was sitting in the library except me, that I could see, was male. Some women came in to the desk and then left, but I could not get a good look at them from where I was. I did wonder myself why it was this way, I’ve never noticed (but I usually don’t stay in the building that long when I am there).

  3. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I do like this method of drawing and for some reason it seems to work for me, maybe because I don’t get fussy about how things look and try to fix them. And I like the idea that my mind’s eye is at work.

  4. Alistair McDonald

    Hi Claudia, these reminded me of exercises in Drawing on the Right side of the Brain, which Ive just been rereading (the chapter on childrens art development is especially interesting). We’re about to head for the beach I hate to say, drawing is a great use of time away from the studio, minimal luggage! Cheers

  5. Claudia McGill Post author

    I read this book too, a long time ago. I know it’s in a new edition, I would like to re-read it now that I draw myself, back then I didn’t. I am envious of the beach idea, here (Pennsylvania USA) it is in the 20’s F and we expect snow tonight!

  6. Claudia McGill Post author

    I really like doing this kind of sketching. I have tried a lot of different things and it always comes back to – impressions rather than lots of detail, let the viewer fill it in, and for me, I like the abstractness of this style – just essentials captured and in un-perfect ways. Like the world!

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