Sketching Week 6 Quick!!! faster, quick, no time…. quick sketches!

The topic of the week is “quick sketches” and Glenn starts his video (of teaching and demonstrating – an hour plus, worth looking at several times) by asking: what is quick sketching?

Being the idiot I am, upon hearing that question I immediately saw a  Roadrunner, equipped with a sketchbook and a pen, zoom towards an innocent coyote, sketch him in a second, then zoom away “beep beep! flblflbl!” leaving the coyote in shock: “Gosh, sketched again! Curse those roadrunners!”

Of course Glenn’s answer to his own question made far more sense. And this is what I understood with my silly yet avid brain:

any sketching is fast, you get to the essential, in quick sketching you make sure you don’t accidentally start refining a sketch, you go for wash (and pen or water-soluble pencils etc) and work with a model that moves all the time. Anyone who has kids, kitties, doggies, or lives in a war zone, has natural models all around them. (guess the bit Glenn did not say and I added…. ahum, I’m 7 years old, inside, I can’t help it).

More seriously, quick sketch is to sketching what expresso is to coffee. Work from imagination and memory,  because your model will be gone, or will have moved almost as soon as you start drawing.

This said, and to quote an old Greek philosopher whose name escapes me: make slow haste! No panic, no rush, put down every line carefully, for every line counts in this game, as does every stroke of the waterbrush for the wash.

You can also do quick sketching with something that won’t move, like a building (imagining a building dancing the Can-can while you draw it, just to annoy you). You then really reduce it to the essential, to what makes it a special building, gives it its “personality”.

Of course I had to be unwell one day of the week, and I had not finished my assignment, so 2 of the following drawings are from  photos and not from the street next to my place. (with the photos I did what I always do: look at the picture 5 seconds, close the page – thus loosing the name of the photographer and being unable to say “thanks” – and then I draw only from memory and imagination, from what I “felt” watching the image. But live sketches, the rest of this page, are mainly done in the same way, humans having the nasty natural tendency to move all the time :-D)

Here is my assignment: (the white rectangle hides some personal info, not a drawing)


Glenn immediately commented on the girl walking towards me on the left: “she is great”, he said: you can see the construction in it, simple but there, the thicker line on the outside makes the form immediately read.

The rest is ok, somme good simplified “gestures”, nice feeling of wet ground for the two old people climbing the stairs (old? They were not THAT slow, I assure you), all in all a good submission. I may have gone overboard with details in some places, but working in pen again means doing a lot of lines so a lot of details come naturally (bazinga! I’m back to pen, last week’s “you must use a pencil this time” made me long to go back to pen).

Talking of  “I hate anything but pen”….. my submission for this week in anatomy class (not shown here) got the following reaction from Glenn: “next week use anything BUT pen”. (insert image of Terminator sinking into molten metal without moving or saying a word)

Ooops. How annoying to have a master who reads your mind! LOL in fact : how *wonderful* to have a master who sees where you are, what you are doing, and even what you are thinking while you draw, and can tell you what to do to get better. Glenn has so much experience, I guess he could “read” my thoughts in my  drawing if I sent him a drawing done with my foot (a standard way of drawing for some, but a very very difficult one for me, if I tried).

He can see behind the symptoms in the drawing – straight to the underlying cause and work on it. Other teachers work only on the symptoms and don’t help you at all or so slowly you lose your nerve very quickly.

With Glenn, from one week to the other you progress, yes if you draw during the week, applying what he told you during the “crit”: you progress, one week to the other. It’s….. exhilarating!

Go back to drawing, reader! And draw a lot, and see you next week!

Cheers (back to…. “something other than pen” for me……..)

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