Recently I spent a couple of days in studio limbo between my old ArtVallarta studio space and the new one. I had access to a table, an easel, and paper and pencils but couldn’t paint yet because things were still being put into place.
So I decided to draw. In fact, I wound up just doing small, spare drawings of the male figure for several hours on two consecutive afternoons—kind of a rough-sketch marathon. I used sheets of 11×17 office paper, and in most cases filled both sides (I wasn’t planning to save these drawings—in my mind, they were just for practice). Above are some of the sheets I filled with drawings.
I could have used my own photographs as source material, but I wanted fresh, somewhat random images, so I went online and searched for male-nude photos. I chose images more for interesting poses than for beauty or esthetic qualities. Then I went through them one by one, just drawing, not thinking—drawing whatever image popped up next.
My goal was simple: to capture each pose as quickly as possible, and with as few lines as possible—yet still trying to inject some life-energy into each drawing.
I kept thinking the workers would come by to finish securing my drywall ‘easels’ to the wall any minute now, and I would be able to turn my attention to painting. But they didn’t show up, and didn’t show up, and didn’t show up—so I just kept drawing.
They finally showed up at the end of the second day. By then I had done almost 100 drawings, and without conscious intention, I had ended up creating a kind of “sketchbook without the book.”
Although I don’t always save the results of my sketching practice sessions, the more I looked at the drawings I’d done, the more I liked them. And I liked them as a group. I decided to catalog them and offer them as a package, in the form I’d begun thinking of them, as a Sketchbook Without the Book.
Then it occurred to me that it would be fun to do a post in my Artist’s Diary talking about the process and actually showing the reference photos next to the sketches. When you scroll down and view the rest of this post, you’ll see that’s what I’ve done.
More on the “Sketchbook without a Book:”
There are 10 sheets of 11×17 paper in the “Sketchbook”: 7 of them are covered with drawings on both sides, and 3 of them have drawings on only one side of the paper. The new owner of the “Sketchbook” will receive the 10 sheets, with a Certificate of Authenticity; the sheets can then be kept together as a group, or separated, as you wish.
A caveat for those who are not already collectors of my rough sketches: these works are on low-quality paper, and there may be an occasional crease, pinhole at the corner, coffee stain, or other imperfection. They are offered as is, as documents of the artistic struggle rather than as finished, refined works of art.
Also, because most of these pages have drawings on both sides, it would be difficult to frame this collection. It’s better suited to being kept in a portfolio and brought out for occasional viewing.
You can purchase the “Sketchbook without a Book” (if it’s still available) by clicking here. (NOTE: The reference photos are not included.)
Following, I share some of the many drawings which are part of this project, along with the photos that inspired them.