Graphite Sketch: An Impossible Angle

sketch of man relaxing
© 2011 Mellanie Collins

graphite on paper, 5 x 8 inches

On the first sunny and warm day this spring,  Michael and I went to the park.  Michael basked, and I sketched.   At first I was frustrated.  I had chosen an impossible angle and as it was such a glorious, lazy, summery afternoon I just couldn’t bear to get technical and try to do a “proper drawing.”

I had to mentally thumb my nose at my inner critic as she badgered me to consider the proportions or to “slow down and try do some proper hatching for god’s sake!”  I just kept marking, smudging and scribbling on pages.  I had such a great time.

Looks like I’m finally learning to just give myself a break and enjoy myself.

It’s about time.

Every Day in May – Day 4 – Another Pug Sketch

graphite pencil
graphite pencil

I’m still doing sketches for an artist trading card for a friend of mine.   I’m working on getting just the right expression.   I’m not really a dog person, but the more I study the reference photos I was given, the more I appreciate this dog.  He’s awfully cute.  Perhaps that’s why I always spend a lot of time making sketches for cards before I do final drawings and coloring or paint.  I feel like I get some sort of connection with the subject before I let it go.  It could just be something like really loving a line under a nose, or the way a curve indents when you think it shouldn’t.

Drawing is ultimately about paying attention and being present.  When I am walking around throughout the day, I have a tendancy to rush about and only take a cursory look at things.  I notice just what I need to notice and move on.  Maybe that’s why I can be so compulsive about drawing.  It’s practically the only time I pay real attention to things and ultimately find so much appreciation for them.   Drawing grounds me like nothing else.