Monday, February 5, 2018

Sketching: From Observation. From Imagination

 Drawing with the group at a local "Antique Mall."
Because we are an official group, we get to go to
many fascinating places! 
(one of us always gets permission beforehand.)

My visual challenges were about  proportion, perspective, & relationships between objects.
Some others in the group focused on individual object studies. 
I'd like to do that too, studies with more depth & detail,
but for now I'm attracted to the interplays. 
There were many "nooks" with displays by individual vendors.
With so many objects to view in any given spot, 
the items were intriguing for themselves
(an antiquer or cultural historian would have a blast!)
 as well as for their
 lines, forms, angles, placements.  
Recently I've started to practice a new type of drawing:
From Imagination! 
A new Journaling group at a local library, 
based on cartoonist Lynda Barry's teachings in her book, Syllabus
is opening new channels in my brain.
Above, The beginnings of a "Self Portrait."

In my usual way, I take notes from the book. 
But I sprinkle these with my own memory/imagination
 drawings & writing. Syllabus is really a workbook. 

I was taught at a (too young) age to draw ONLY from observation. 
I don't know if drawing from imagination was ever a strength anyway, 
but what there was got squashed. 
Barry deals with the fear adults have of drawing from memory. 
She aims to "bring drawing back into people's lives"
(from their childhoods as most kids love to draw & then stop),
instead of "to teach drawing" to adults.

Stay tuned: Sketchbook Wandering: The Cartoon!


  1. Well..I love everything here and am always amazed at your full of animation..Can we see the angels if you add color?
    You must have so many sketchbooks.
    How great it has been for me to follow talented artists on blogs and IG.

    1. I'm glad you enjoy the quick sketches. Yes, Nana, I have (too) many sketchbooks stored away. I hope to go through them someday and weed them out...I knew that if I added color to the angels it wouldn't work...Yes, so many many blogs of art & creativity!!

  2. I love this. I, too, struggle with drawing from my imagination. I've always been comfortable drawing what I see because that is what I've always been "good at." It's not something that I was taught (I don't think so, anyway). My older brother can draw pretty much anything right out of his head, and I've always admired that skill (and been a little jealous, to be honest). Something to work on. Thanks for the inspiration, as always!

    1. Rebecca, I think one trusts what "pops out" from imagination the more one does it...It is good to work outside one's comfort zone (and then to go back to it, aaahhhh!)

  3. Interesting and inspiring . . .
    I am taken back to my early memory drawings . . .
    and I am wondering when it changed from
    drawing from my inside to drawing what I see outside . . .

    1. It changes for a lot of kids at about age 9 or so...A natural developmental occurance...The trick might be to develop an ease with both...?

  4. Your "self portrait" is soooo much fun to study. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    1. Hehe...a fun way to do a self "study", Brattcat. I recommend it!!

  5. I don't think I have ever draw from my memory! What a gift.

    1. But you create art from imagination all the time, Beth!

  6. Wow -- I'm really impressed with all the detail in your first drawing. There's so much to include and I would think it would have been a pretty tricky one to pull off so well. Your work is just filled with joy and happiness.

    I've just started doing a little from my imagination. I used to all the time but I was never satisfied. But it's a wonderful exercise. And I think ultimately, a pretty important one to move us from copyist (even with modification) to total creative. I say total, because I think whether we are copying from life (like your antique mall) or from a previously done image, we are still adding our own creativity to the interpretation, maybe changing color or line or detail, and certainly with the technique. But to go into our imaginations takes up further around the complete circle. I love both!

    1. Yes, Jeanie, there was a lot of detail, and it is an ongoing practice to simplify when drawing. And yes, I was happy and joyful, drawing indeed is a form of self expression! It's easy to not be satisfied when things don't look as real. This new journal class at the library is helping me with letting go of the disatisfaction!

  7. Love your sketchbook pages--I always feel they're so happy and playful, and just so much fun to see. I love Lynda Barry's books, too.

    1. I feel blessed to have this thread of joy and the means with which to express it, Kathy. Another cartoonist I like is Roz Chast, though both of them can get pretty dark...

  8. Luv this exploration of techniques and challenges. . . your mind is always reaching, reaching. . . xx

  9. Rita - I loved your page of faces as well as your drawings from imagination. Your sketch book sharing is such a treat. Will be looking forward to seeing more of your drawings from imagination. Have a super week friend. Hugs!

    1. Thanks, Debbie. Just did a next blog post, more from imagination. I have been sketching this week too, but thought I'd post this less familiar thing...Good week to you too, my friend!


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