And so the second year of Drawing August slips away. For me it really has been a challenge. Despite keeping strictly to my self-imposed time limit of 15 minutes per drawing, getting the time at weekends has still been whisker tight. Honestly, I think I’ve acquitted myself OK with my set of pen portraits of work colleagues. Admittedly there are one or two horrors in there, but by and large all have carried something of the sitter. I was tempted to leave some out of the succession, but that would defeat the object. This has been about exploring an area of drawing which is outside my comfort zone. It’s simply not possible to turn out a corker each time; I’m wide of that goal by a very wide country mile at the moment. By and large I have stuck to my guns and produced only pen line drawings, although on Day 16 I went off piste a little with a set of Winsor and Newton watercolour markers. Well they were sitting in their shiny new box beckoning to me; would have been rude not to use them… Before I leave you with a gallery of all thirty one sketches here’s a summary of the key things I’ve learned:
- Warm up first. Coming straight from an intense analytical mind set at work and expecting to produce a great sketch in 15 minutes was never going to be the best work practie. You may be able to spot the days when I was most agitated.
- Line up other people to model at weekends. I got a little tired of knocking out selfies.
- A thicker pen is both more impactful and encourages greater and more immediate expression.
- Maybe a little variation wouldn’t have been a bad thing after all. By sticking rigidly to my brief – the drawings have taken on a similar quality and tend to merge one into the other.
Finally, a bonus side effect of Drawing August is that now several of my sitters are very willing for me to continue beyond August, just to keep my hand in. Thanks everyone for being such willing and accommodating sitters. Without you this page would be blank.
My personal favourites are Days 1, 2, 6, 7, 21 and 23, which are yours?