Nubian goat Cara resting, from memory in pen
Nubian Goat Cara resting, Ari Cat full body and face, all from life,
Today was an exercise in visual memory. I stepped outdoors for a smoke and saw Cara the Nubian Goat resting in the goat pen on her side. She looked interesting and though her features were hard to see in the light, she made a great silhouette with her pale gray ear distinctive. So I studied the lines of her shape, just watched her for a while, then came in and drew her immediately.
If you do this with things that you see outdoors or on the road, it speeds up life drawing a lot. You're not at a loss when the bird or animal moves. Very often life drawings get finished with the memory of a pose I just saw because the stupid bird will fly away or the cat will roll over and tuck his head down so that a second sketch would just be a furry rounded lump.
Naturally I was curious about how accurate my memory drawing was, so I went back outside to see if Cara had moved. She hadn't moved much, though she stretched her neck out to look at me. I think she'd been watching the road before, her neck wasn't that long at first. Sketched her fast outdoors, then came in and saw my fuzzy boy crashed on the back of our futon. Had to sketch the beautiful, contented Ari cat again, he just demands that sometimes with his beauty.
He's now in an un-drawable pose up on top of the bookcase with his fluffy knees up, back a soft curve between them and tail tucked under his butt - sort of a furry lump slopping over the edge and recognizable more by color than anything else. Otherwise I might stop for yet another life drawing!
Both of these pages are on my Borden & Riley Drawing Pad, sized 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" and perforated. I love those little drawing pads, they are so convenient for life drawings and tempt me to sketch immediately by not being so large I'd have to do a lot of things to fill a page or work large. For anyone who likes to work small they're wonderful. Unfortunately, Blick discontinued them so I don't know where else I can get them. May have to go back to cutting ATC/ACEO blanks out of larger paper or buying those in packs.
I'm back to daily art again, what a relief! The big scroll project occupied me to the extent of blocking out the impulse to draw anything else until I finally decided to sketch first before working on the scroll. I'm not used to large projects any more, though I was back when I used to do scrolls regularly. Now I'm going to do more of them and try to establish a rhythm of working on longer projects. I'll still post them when they're done and progress photos when I need to say to myself "I got something done!"
Scroll progress is part of daily art. Large projects don't need to be completed to count as daily art. I must get used to that idea and not get intimidated by them!