My plan for today was to catch quick actions that would tell a story that anyone could understand. I planned to do it by using gesture drawings of individuals or pairs of people, without background detail. This quick sketch is about three friends exchanging hellos on the Fourth of July, and a fourth person watching it all from the sideline. I went ahead and put in the background, since it helps to tell a story of an unexpected encounter. (In fact, I have trouble not drawing in the background, not adding in color, not closing parts of the drawings and so on. Perhaps I should work on this in the future.)
While I think it is clear that three people are greeting each other while a fourth watches, the drawing is not engaging in and of itself, perhaps because I did not use enough variation from lights to darks.
Today is the end of my first week as a blogger. Making sense of the technical skills needed for blogging has taxed my thinking but not nearly as much as thinking about the impact of my sketches. I selected this first week’s focus on creating images that communicate because this is the whole point for me of keeping a sketchbook journal.
Thinking about the big ideas of sketching reminds me of the work teachers do with the bits and pieces of helping students meet standards. Standards are huge and take a long time to learn. We educators typically teach a series of lessons across a significant amount of time. The lesson sequence is designed to teach the elements of the standard. We also set up practice opportunities for students to work on the standard. We do not say a student is proficient in the standard until the student can fluently and independently put all its pieces together.
I am about to work on the traditional elements of art over the next few months so that I can fluently and independently use these to communicate my thinking through sketching. I will come back often to this first week’s work since this is the big standard I am working on through the deliberate practice of its elements.
Next week I will be camping and working on perspective. I hope to be able to post daily but if not, I will mass post them on my return.
Happy Fourth of July!