I drew this at dinner tonight. This is the last sketch on the last page of my moleskine sketchbook. I threw some gray marker on it, and was surprised to learn that the flimsy, slick moleskine paper loves marker. I’ve been limiting these sketches to the usual pencil and smudge tool, but now I almost want a do-over.
Anyway, keeping in the spirit of my new year’s resolution, I’m completing things left incomplete. So instead of buying a new sketchbook, as I would normally do, I’m finding old, half-finished sketchbooks from the past and finishing them! I’ve found a sketchbook that my wife actually stitched together and bound from scratch and gave to me for a gift back a few years ago. It seems to be from 1999, mostly. Just to illustrate this, my daughter Lily, seen in the middle of the sketch above from this evening, is shown below how she appeared to me in 1999 in a sketch from my new/old (or is it old/new?) sketchbook.
I drew only in ink in those days, mostly fountain pen. These days I’m liking pencil: less fighting, more flow. So here’s a new sketch in the old book from this evening just to kick things off:
Joan put Strathmore drawing paper in this one, and I really like how it takes the 6b pencil. I have no idea whether anyone else finds any of this interesting, but it’s amusing to me, so hey…
This blast from the past rode by on his chopped motorcycle early this afternoon. He went by so fast that I had to close my eyes and hold it like a still photo before attempting to draw it. What you don’t see is the grey beard and the grey/blond long hair coming out the back of the WWII German helmet. I think the bike had longer forks than I’m showing here, thinking back on it. It was like something straight out of Big Daddy Ed Roth’s world.
Some semi-random sketches from the last couple weeks. Waiting to be served, waiting for take-out, waiting for the bill, etc.
This man had a great profile. So when he moved I went in for another one:
This woman had a very sweet face and seemed absolutely riveted by whatever the man she was with was saying.
On weekends it’s positively strange to be in a place normally so busy – people in production, going here and there – and now so vacant. I drew this sketch while eating my take-out ramen, sitting on the pavement in front of my office. Nobody around.
It was a beautiful day to sit outside and enjoy my lunch, so I made this little sketch during my lunch hour.
I’m on a new-ish schedule at work, in which Tuesday and Wednesday are my Saturday and Sunday. So yesterday I spent a few hours at the LA County Museum of Art. It’s the first time in about a year or so that I’d been there. There’s currently a great, albeit small, exhibit of Gustav Klimt’s original paintings, which were more inspiring than I was expecting, for some reason. The landscapes were my favorites – he had a very technically free and yet compositionally controlled painting style, with less regard for light and perspective than for surface and pattern; and yet he pulls it off without seeming mannered, or self-conscious or overly clever. All the paintings had a great sense of honesty to them. I guess I’d never really seen a Klimt up close, and I suppose I had been selling him short. This exhibit really was a pleasant surprise.
The Japanese Pavilion is a strange building – and my usual favorite part of the museum. I sketched it above. Inside all the art is lighted by natural light diffused through shoji screen like windows. You follow a gradual, serpentine path down through the building, criss-crossing an indoor stream that follows a similar path. It’s great. Very relaxing.
Visiting us with her family before moving to another state.
My dad (who knows these things) says it’s more than 100 years old. Joan bought it from a friend in Hollywood a few years ago. Notice the large portrait on the top right. That’s the home now of the ancestor photo I blogged about a while back. I’m still reading Danny Gregory’s amazing book, which prompted me to draw this piece of furniture that I’ve become so accustomed to that I don’t even see it anymore. Mr. Gregory is a positively evangelistic about drawing, and has a barely containable enthusiasm that is infectious. I’m finding myself looking around at things all over the house as potential subjects for sketching.
On Saturday we all piled into the car and went to the annual Bug Fair at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. We go every year, seeing as my son loves bugs and has since birth. At one point I thought he might become an entymologist, but now I’m not sure… Anyway, now we’re brand new owners of three “ironclad beetles“, one of which is named “Bridget”.