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.

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5 thoughts on “after Rubens

  1. You are a master of these blue drawings. This is excellent.
    And I like what you can do with an ordinary office supply!

    merci beaucoup, Ben — I must buy stock in the pen companies soon because I think I’ll have convinced Everyone that the blue ball point pen is the best! bisous, Aletha

  2. Thank you for your honest admissions and thoughts. I feel “permission” to try things I would have once thought artistically “scandalous.” Was this done on “ordinary” notebook paper? And what type pen did you use? You are as lyrical in your writing as you are in your artwork.

    This drawing was done in a somewhat unusual notebook. The paper is not special but it is colored a lovely pale yellow (that unfortunately doesn’t always register in the photos). The books are made in China, bound in red and black, lined for writing. I think I’ve seen them available online. Can’t remember where I got mine. It was not expensive. Lately I’ve also been drawing in some lined composition notebooks I got at Walmart for $1.97 each. They have wonderfully smooth sheets, very nice for use with pen for rapid carefree sorts of drawing.

    I’ve been drawing over 30 years, but I still enjoy the freedom that you get psychologically from using materials that you know will not break the bank. It’s a great way to develop ideas. I do use expensive artists papers too — I use them a lot for my koi drawings. But this other kind of drawing is so much about pure freedom.

    I love your characterization of the “scandalous” nature of such freedom — I know exactly what you mean! A lot of art schools, etc., frown on this or that. But actually making drawings of this sort is closer in spirit to an old master practice. Ironically.

    For pen, I used a Bic Cristal. Comes in a bag of 10 for a dollar. Is a wonderful pen. I cannot praise it enough. Very subtle effects possible. I have also got a bunch of common place pens of other brands — inks vary and it’s fun to use two different shades of blue, or pens with different thickness lines, etc.

    Thank you very much for your kind words, and I hope you get a chance to join the scandal. It’s really great fun. — Aletha

  3. you have given me wings to my enthusiasm for drawing
    you are an artist I admire and thnk you for your generosity
    to your readers

    thank you potopelado for your kind remarks, and I’m glad that the blog gives you encouragement — I am always hoping that the writing here will help others in their journeys — Aletha

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