Tuesday, September 29, 2020

cheating at drawing

I'm a bit of a lazy artist. I've done plenty of drawing from looking at the object I was drawing and I've done plenty of tracing and copying in my art work for the etched glass once I had accumulated a large library of flowers and such. The small scale compositions were always done freehand but when it came to the full size drawings and the detail I would shuffle through my library of flowers and birds and other things that I used a lot and would transfer the appropriate thing into the full size drawing. When I was starting out I relied on the kid's section of the library, various design and coloring books from the art supply store, and pictures from magazines. Later I would take pictures of what I wanted, print them out, slip it into a clear plastic sleeve and convert the photo to a line drawing using a fine tipped sharpie and then print out the line drawing. I have four binders of line drawings of various flowers and leaves and birds and other critters that I've accumulated over the years. I use this technique in my wax model making too. All the botanica erotica pieces started out with a line drawing from a photograph and then I converted that into a three dimensional sculpture.

The first colored pencil drawings I did in 2018 when I was trying to jumpstart my motivation and do a drawing a day I drew the old fashioned way directly into the sketchbook. Of the four I've done so far during the pandemic when I had time and the desire to do a drawing, I only drew the first, the amaryllis bud, the other three I traced and transferred from photographs like this:

print the photograph

slip it in a plastic sleeve and make a line drawing

print the image on the plastic sleeve

flip it over and use the side of a pencil to scribble graphite behind the drawing

position the drawing, graphite side down, and then trace, transferring the drawing onto the page in the sketchbook and start coloring it in.

Being lazy is easy but now and then I draw for real just to make sure I can still do it. The new drawing from another one of Linda Sue's photographs, 

I drew from scratch and it came out pretty damn good.

I always amaze myself. Once I was happy with the drawing I transferred it to the sketchbook and have just started to color it in, the first basic layer that I will build up on. So that's what I've been working on.

Not today though. I didn't roll out of bed til 8:30 this morning and worked out in the yard after breakfast pruning an althea, getting out the gone by zinnias and some weeds, til about 12:30 and then did a grocery shop and washed the piled up dishes and generally cleaned up the kitchen, worked on this post. Now it's time to feed the dog though I could take a little nap right about now even though I won't.

At the grocery store, we can only bring our own bags if we sack our groceries ourselves but I read elsewhere that people were having them just put the groceries back in the cart unbagged and then transferring to their own bags at the car. Instead of my own bags, I put three cardboard boxes in the trunk and at the check-out I told the guy to please do not put my stuff in plastic bags but to just put it all back in the cart. When I finished unloading onto the conveyor belt I looked up and the guy was starting to put my stuff in plastic bags. No, no I told him, no bags, just put the stuff back in the cart. It worked out pretty well. It didn't really take me any longer to transfer the stuff into those boxes than to unload a cart with a jillion plastic bags. Now if I had just remembered to take my mesh produce bags with me I could have got out of there without a single plastic bag!

(Have I mentioned how much I hate the new blogger?)


  1. Your drawing from scratch is beautiful. There is something heartening to me about seeing a good drawing.

  2. The morning glory looks wonderful! the other process looks tiring. I have used that process before when unsure of proportions have also used the break- up -into- squares method, but there is nothing as fun and freeing as just free handing. You got it just right!! Good job at the market too! NO plastic bags. Good girl, I accepted a plastic bag the other day at Walgreens and was horrified at myself. Especially since , until covid for some reason, shops are using plastic bags , our town has banned them...makes no sense about covid and plastic bags...

  3. I, too, love the morning glory.
    Costco's policy now is that they won't use your bags to put things in. I generally set my items in the cart with the codes up so that the cashier doesn't have to touch anything. He or she just scans them with the wandy-scanner. Then I put things in my bags in the car like you did. Publix will still pack your groceries in the bags you bring so that's fine. I need some net produce bags too.

  4. That morning glory is lovely! You aren't the only one you amaze :)

    You and me both on new blogger - the spacing is just crazypants.

  5. Your art is so beautiful! Your coloring is so perfect.
    I dislike plastic bags too. I always used to bring my own bags to the grocery store but now Jewel does not allow it. I just bring the pile of plastic bags back to their recycling bins on my next visit back to Jewel. I like your idea of unloading into your trunk.

  6. We all do.
    I posted a picture today that I felt fit the circumstances perfectly.

  7. Wonderful morning glory!
    I remember when we we shown in school how the Renaissance artists, esp. Albrecht Dürer, would set up a wooden frame with separate squares around their subject and first copied each frame before starting on the proper painting (or etching) and we all shouted, but that's cheating and the teacher said, no, that's skill.

  8. I could not figure out a way around the stupid plastic bag rule. We could use our own bags if we bagged everything, and I simply am not fast enough to keep up, and then the next person waited, or worse yet, I got the mean cashier, who just started rolling the next load of groceries.
    Tehachap is a blogger who uses a morning glory for her background. She fell in love with a photo, like you. You can check her out: https://tehachap.wordpress.com/
    Tehachap is her town.

  9. That morning glory came out great! So perfect and detailed. (It's a great photo, too.) It's interesting to see the steps you take to produce your drawings, depending on the method you use.

  10. Trader Joe's is using paper bags. If you don't want that, then they put your stuff back in the cart and you can bag/box at your leisure. Safeway uses plastic with wild abandon. They don't seem to try to maximize each bag. The morning glory is looking good.

  11. I just ran into the "we won't bag your stuff into your own bags" routine today for the first time. It seems like the procedures constantly are changing -- sort of like our blog editors! I really enjoyed seeing your process for both pieces. I love a nice morning glory, and this one's gorgeous.

    Speaking of gorgeous -- did you see the full moon the last couple of night? It was so red when it rose. I didn't even try for a photo. I just enjoyed it.


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.