Friday, September 13, 2013

Whoa, Billy!

         I wonder if anyone has invented a holster for artists...
         I understand there are all kinds of bags and boxes and totes and collapsible easels - I have 'em! But I realize more and more lately, as I've been taking my sketchbook with me everywhere, a pen and sketchbook holster would be really convenient! This morning at a local coffee shop I saw a very interesting looking woman I thought would be perfect to sketch. Just a quick sketch would suffice, but I wasn't "set up" yet! I suppose sketching in a coffee shop is imposing enough. I forgot how awkward it can be when someone suddenly realizes they've become your subject. I try to be discreet and immediately dart my eyes in every which direction the moment the person I'm drawing looks up at me, as if to say "don't think you're special! I'm drawing that guy! And that guy! And that girl! I'm drawing everyone in this room simultaneously - everyone except you!" - and then I check the angle of their shoulder.
         So, perhaps for the purpose of sketching people, a holster is uncomfortable. Hold it right there, lady! Whoosh! Zip! Snap! Gotcha...
        But I don't think things like telephone poles and birds and parked cars mind being drawn, and I don't necessarily want to set up a whole operation on the sidewalk if a pigeon on a trash can looks particularly appealing to render! I can stand and draw, that's not the problem. It's the fumbling of pens and pencil and eraser. I'm sorry, I'm just not really a one pencil kind of girl. Even if I was, I have developed a sincere distrust for the nub of eraser on the other end of the pencil. ANY pencil. Only the kneaded kind will do. But I like value! It helps with my process and it always leaves me feeling more satisfied with my sketch - like it holds volume. I love line, but light is often, to me anyway, the most interesting thing about the thing! So I need my assortment of gray value toned brush markers! And if I want to paint?! Fuggedaboutit.
         I know it may not seem practical to have a sketchbook at my hip and ammo loops equipped with brush pens - nor very attractive, I'm sure. The fanny pack has never been a great indicator of style. But it's an unattractive accessory I could really make good use of. Besides, I don't see how it could ever get old to have my fingers hovering and twitching over my pens, ready to pull them from my holster at any moment with lightning speed, and shouting "DRAW!"

         While I've been sketching all sorts of things lately (without a holster!), today I will simply share with you a few sketches for the short I am in the very beginning stages of developing (see earlier posts).
         Included is a page of very rough conceptual ideas for the house on Main Street, positioned between the steam laundry and the furniture store, just as grandpa described, with the Napa Grocery on the corner. I've also included a page of rough character sketches of my grandpa's brother, Bill (Billy). I, along with everybody, absolutely LOVED Uncle Bill. But I obviously did not know him as a kid. Grandpa described him as rail thin with an appetite unlike anything he'd ever seen. Among the many defining traits that are Billy, this was my inspiration to get me started.

1 comment:

  1. Our beautiful, wonderful, funny and kind Uncle Bill. Oh, how I miss him. Love these drawings, Nik!