Drawing Two Scenes at Once, First Sketch of Grandma
I’m in an unusual place with this sketching hobby right now. I can see improvement in the results to some degree, and it’s making me excited to draw more. But, I’m still not that imaginative in terms of subject matter, and I am sort of running out of ideas. A natural place my brainstorming goes is, “which people/family member combinations have I not drawn yet?” I’ve featured my immediately family (wife and kiddos) in many, and I’ve sketched my sister, mom, and granny…but I haven’t yet drawn my dad, or most of my wife’s family. Very surprisingly, I also haven’t done one with just me and the two girls!
So, in the absence of a creative tidal wave of ideas, I decided to hit a couple of those combinations. Due to my current excitement about art, I also made the crazy choice to work on two at once. As it turns out, that probably wasn’t a great idea and I likely won’t try it again. The two scenes I selected for this lunacy were; a group centered on our oldest with her grandma, her aunt, and her mom, and then another with just me and our girls.
Now, here’s what happened as I did this. Things started fine as I did the outlines in graphite pencil, and even at the beginning with basic skin color layers. It was a bit refreshing to be able to switch to something new periodically. But, as I continued on, I think I started getting a bit fatigued, or feeling like somehow I bit off more than I could chew. Why didn’t I just take a breather? Well, apparently that’s not how my brain works; I wanted to see what they would both look like as finished products, so I couldn’t help but push forward. I’m going to share these in separate posts, but here’s the “first” one:
There are a number of issues with this sketch. First, my daughter and her grandma in the middle don’t look quite like themselves. That was my own fault in the planning; this was done on 9″ x 12″ paper, and I think it was just too small. I should have either worked on larger paper, or just focused on two people. All of the subjects in this sketched look more smudged than I’d like, and again I think that’s a product of size. Another issue is that you can pretty clearly see the byproducts of rushing in the objects on the table (they’re sloppy and unfinished), and the fact that I forgot to add color to our girl’s bow.
On the positive side of things, I do still think this drawing is better than some of my older ones. But it’s less satisfying than many of the more recent color sketches, so I will probably want to revisit something similar (but a larger/closer view) at some point. All-in-all, I am disappointed how this one turned out. But, I think for my learning process, it’s important to own them all and take a lesson or two to the next one. Those lessons? Don’t draw two things at once, and try not to work so small.
Here’s a progression .gif of this sketch:
The next post, which should follow this one pretty quickly, is the other concurrent sketch. It features me and my two girls, and I think it turned out well. Stand by for part 2!