after Rubens

I’m always looking for ways to trick myself into drawing.  One thing that I’ve found helpful is to use those occasions when you are naturally off guard.  For instance, late at night is a good time for fooling yourself into taking drawing chances — especially if you are tired.  You tell yourself — I did this only last night and it worked excellently well — you say to yourself, “Just one more drawing, and I’ll hurry.”  Contained are two effective hypnotic suggestions:  “just one more drawing” becomes “why make a big deal when it’s just one drawing among many” and “I’ll hurry” means “whatever mistakes I make I can blame on the hour.”  These are good incantations for removing qualms.  And once you are drawing qualm-free, sometimes you become free enough to learn new things.

I started this drawing after Rubens (above).  It’s nearly one-to-one in relation to the image in the book I used, and this old book is printed all in black and white.   I started lazily, but as even just minutes creeped by — it was nearly midnight –fatigue started tugging at me. So I decided to step up the pace, until finally I raced through things that ordinarily I might have decided I didn’t even have to draw — like the buttons and do-dahs on the bodice of her dress.

Scribbling fast lines and making instanteous impressions of the buttons and pearls — just tossing them down wherever it seemed like they belonged (point and shoot drawing) was exhillerating.

What a great thing to do right before going to bed.  It’s a wonder that I didn’t dream all night long of pearls in scribbles.