Saturday, February 5, 2011

After Image Sketching

What a week.  If it's not the weather, it's the unexpected that squeezes in and takes over the time set aside for my art.  But keeping up with the sketchbook challenge, I have kept my sketchbook close by.  I don't need to pull out a bunch of supplies, I just need paper, a pencil and an eraser. 

No matter where I am or what I am doing there is five minutes, a napkin and a pen from my purse to draw a quick sketch!  One of my students is learning to draw because in retirement she will be able to draw with minimal supplies and maximum flexibility.  Basic supplies, basic skills!

This weeks sketchbook challenge is "after image" sketching.  Simply look at an object for 30 seconds, look away and sketch what you remember.  It's not as easy as it sounds!  This is a great exercise to teach you to look, really look, and remember details.  This teaches us how to decide and mentally record what details to include in a quick sketch.  When capturing a quick sketch I look for the main idea I want to convey.  It could be the way the person is leaning in to the other person at the table.  It could be the delicate nature of the spring blossoms.  I might love the lighting on the statue in the courtyard. I only have a few minutes to record the essence of what attracts me to scene before that light changes or that person moves.

It also shows you how much you really don't  normally record mentally.  The more you practice this exercise, the better your recall skills will become.  You will learn to decide quickly what is important to the sketch.  And since you can only sketch what you remember, your sketched will be brief and will include only what you can recall.  So for those of us for memory issues, lets hope this strengthens our recall skills!!  It couldn't hurt, eh?

Now, back to the sketchbook!

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