The advantage of having a pencil sketch in between

26 Sep

Look at these sketches of some character that came out of my imagination.

More caricature prep, part 12

They are basically the same sketch, but the bottom one is a revision of the top one. While I was finishing the top sketch I saw the ear was too close to the eyes. I know the head can be seen as a cube, with the eyes on the front and the ears on each side (left and right). The first sketch didn’t take that into account.

This is just an exercise, practice, but it still shows that it is handy to do some preliminary sketches before you commit to a final look. That isn’t very “street artist-y” of me. As a street artist you’re supposed to think on both feet, and not have the convenience of making preliminary sketches before committing to a final version. Your first version is your only version, final or not. If you do a bad job, you’re going to starve (or at least not have a good income) that day, probably depending on handouts from people who take pity on you, rather than on payment by satisfied customers.

I’m sure many studio artists would have a hard time working like that, because they seem to be so busy fussing about their sketches, searching for the best approach, weighing between art and commerce, between what you like and what the client wants.

If, on the other hand, you only get one opportunity to get it right, if you don’t have a safety net, you’d better make something special, something unique, people can’t get anywhere else. And be quick about it too, because people aren’t going to wait too long for you to finish. You probably also need to be somewhat of a talker too, to keep people’s attention with showmanship while you’re working, and to attract new potential customers from the passersby.

And you know what? While you may think you stink, others, who have less trained eyes, may appreciate your rejects, because they are so unlike a photograph. Anyone can take a snapshot (not really, but that is what they assume), but only few can draw.

Still, I feel I need more practice, more learning how to use the tools and see the world through the eyes of an artist. Can you sense how little confidence I have in my skills? I really shouldn’t, but I can’t help myself being an always present art critic, always thinking I could do much better.

That is all.

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