The Vase

Ever since my internet pal Ben of Carnet de Dessins told me that some of my koi look like amphora, I’ve begun looking more at antique vases.  And sure enough they look just like my koi!  Well, except for the various decorations that cover their surfaces which are very different from the decorations that cover the koi.

One of my koi amphora appears here.  I’d say he’s also a little bit volcanic.

The main difference between a koi and a volcano is that with the volcano stuff comes out, whereas with the koi stuff goes in.  And the difference between the amphora and the koi is that the amphora will contain things, whereas stuff doesn’t stay inside the koi long before it exits from  — um — another corridor.

Giant Koi Sketching

The latest large koi drawing has come this far along.  It’s approximately 60 by 55 inches — somewhere in that range — and it’s drawn using Caran d’ache water soluable crayons on Arches watercolor paper.  I decided to make some of the new koi drawings as “sketches” even though they are large.  By saying that they are sketches, I mean that I am working with more freedom and spontaneity throwing caution windward.  Sometimes the size of a picture can tend to make the artist more cautious — or sometimes the materials have this effect — whenever you are doing something in which you feel there is greater risk, somehow, you might tend to slow down and be more deliberate.  And, I decided that for experiment’s sake, as well as simply for the joy of it, that I would approach some of these large koi drawings more boldly since I like the appearance of a “sketch” and equally much I like the spirit of invention and want to exploit it to the full.

A detail of the central section demonstrates how many textures are in the picture so far.  It’s made in a rough manner.  I got the blocking in done today (all the paper is more or less covered with something) and I will continue piling on the pigment, but my approach is one of “just have at it.”   It’s through this manner that I get ideas.

At a much earlier stage, when it was only half-way as far along as now, it looked like this.