09 September, 2009

Watercolor 101.2: Capturing ideas and their value

In this part I will talk about Sketching more. So to continue with the idea of trying out ideas and eliminating the non-essential from our trials I will realize that I am either plucking an idea from my mind, and trying to resolve the big rocks in sketch form, or I am trying to take what I see and sift out the ideas I want to keep from the others. I am completely free to choose my image from the sea. I choose the language that I will frame it in the syntax and cultural references it may link to for continuity or context. Pretty near to never is anything without context.

How do you use sketching?

For some sketching has nothing to do with finished work. For other people it lies somewhere on a continuum of seriousness or finish. Some people sell their sketches and others feel that runs counter to the freedom they seek. However you see it, sketching and weeding out of ideas has a beauty of its own and is admirable as an art by itself.

My approach may change, but for now I seek the immediacy of ideas and the dexterity of hand at expressing. In language they call it eloquence in being able to find the most succinct word. If my sketches happened to be a saleable product of their own, they would have to be not by direct intent, but by circumstance of skill and practice.

As an example I went to a Sketchbook Project show and saw many sketchbooks that were finished pieces. I had a hard time imagining that some of these artists were trying out ideas. Perhaps that was not the case, but these people were so dexterous that they made no mistakes I could perceive? I don't think so though. My point is I try for a certain amount of messiness and accident because want to not feel burdened by destroying an idea. In a way I break it slightly from the beginning. Does anybody else feel the same?

Whether that concept help or a hindrance to finish is a powerful question!

I am open to discovery, so multiple approaches are worth trying. It is important to identify where these decisions exist, how we choose, and what effect that has on the outcome.

As for me and my sketching...

I approach my sketches as non-finished works. I purposely divide my page in subsections that disallow me from focusing on detail if I am to sketch in a timely manner. It is only a side-effect, but a pleasant coincidence that It gives a comic book, story sense to it. As I choose a subject, my ideas are somewhat random. In one sense they are little pictures, but together they as a collage make a bigger picture. Some of them may end up on their own as compositions, or they might only speak as part of a page of other details.

In my process it is like divining ideas from my surroundings. I ask few questions, and then begin to point my pen or marker at a point that I see. The next question I ask might be what the scale from that point is and shrink the image in my mind up or down based on that intersection.

If I place my point above the page, how much of the image will appear in my box? Depending on how I choose to compose it, this might change where I place the starting first line.

Will I crop it like this?

Will I crop it like this in my mind?

Or, will I crop it like this? The ultimate question is how much of it speaks to me?

As much freedom as I have with composition I could see the composition as something I wanted to turn from a 59 to a 95. I could decide that I don't want to orient the figures as they are, but to freely arrange them.

As a general rule, I try often to bring shapes closer in together than they may be in reality so that they can interact in more interesting ways. Don't be afraid to be a typographer and kearn your shapes in an odd way that creates some interest. It isn't actually type, so it may retain it's meaning despite being re-arranged.

1 comment:

Louise Smythe said...

smart post! this is really helpful information.