Prompt60 #53

In this prompt, select one (1) magazine. Flip through and find an interesting image or a title. A scene from a movie, a decorated ranch house, an earring, a face... Cut it out and use it as a reference for a sketch. A sketch? Did I just hear a collective sigh out there in daisyyellowlandia?

Here's the thing. Lines have a mind of their own. They get wonky. They drive off in 2nd gear at awkward angles. They are smudgy when they should be crisp. Also: <enter your drawing stumbling block here>. Work in pen, marker, pencil or even crayon.

Here's the plan. If a line looks wrong, draw another. Yup, right on top. Or take a step to the right {insert obscure Rocky Horror reference}. You can even layer different types of writing instruments.

A lot of drawing is a matter of building your fine motor skills {finger| hand| arm}. When you use a reference image, it means that you REFER to the image while you work. It serves as your prompt and you can take it in any direction.

a) Sketch directly onto a crisp white page in your journal. Attach the reference image/words into your journal on the same or an adjacent page with washi tape.

b) Sketch onto a piece of loose paper. Tape the image to the back of your page if you want to see the comparison again one day.

b) Draw on an index card. Attach both the reference image/words and your drawing in your journal or tack them up to your inspiration wall. Yes, you can put your own art on your inspiration wall, why not?

Try to clear your mind and relax your muscles. I like to close my eyes and relax the tight muscles in the back of my neck. Ignore the subject matter and look at the shape. Consider the negative space around the image, pretend there was a spotlight behind the "thing" and that the thing was only visible by its outline. Scribble the "idea" or essence of the image without attempting to make it photographically accurate or to scale. Photographically accurate drawings are actually quite boring! The eye likes imperfection. You can also exaggerate details or add meticulous cross-hatching in the shadows. That's up to you and you alone. 

On the nature of making mistakes, Tufts website shares an excerpt from How Things Are... "This general technique of making a more-or-less educated guess, working out its implications, and using the result to make a correction for the next phase has found many applications. Navigators, for instance, determine their position at sea by first making a guess about where they are. They make a guess about exactly--to the nearest mile--what their latitude and longitude are, and then work out how high in the sky the sun would appear to be if that were (by an incredible coincidence) their actual position. Then they measure the actual elevation angle of the sun, and compare the two values. With a little more trivial calculation, this tells them how big a correction, and in what direction, to make to their initial guess. It is useful to make a good guess the first time, but it doesn't matter that it is bound to be mistaken; the important thing is to make the mistake, in glorious detail, so you have something serious to correct."

To see all of the prompts in the series, go to the Prompt60 Index.

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