It looked and sounded like a family reunion. Laughter, excited voices all talking at once, people helping themselves to the food on their neighbor’s plate, everyone enjoying the moment, everyone, that is, except the figure in red. She sat back, silent, watchful and glum. Was she related, was she new to the group? I wanted to ask her what was up only I did not dare. All I could tell was that she looked very uncomfortable. I tried to show this by exaggerating the contrast of the group’s facial expression, engagement, seating, and clothing to those of the woman in red.
This past week my goal for deliberate practice was to capture groups of people in a setting so that it all combined to tell a story. I wanted to show through the movement and interaction of group members what was being experienced by the group. This was a challenging goal. Locating a group took ingenuity and sometimes the group would not assume the positions I wanted them to take. And interpreting the experience of the group by the placement of image on paper was often beyond my technical skills. My colors got muddy, the proportions and perspective were off, and I drew odd images that just did not help establish a clear story. Nevertheless, I learned more about planning a sketch before jumping into it and more about making adjustments to the scene in order to better tell a story and all of this has potential to improve my daily work as a sketcher.
Next week I plan to revisit a previous goal for deliberate practice and work on intentionally using a variety of line in each sketch I do. My success criteria will be to have many kinds of line in each sketch and to use each because it is the best line I can select to show movement, light, position, and importance. I want to use line deliberately so the viewer understands what strikes me as important about each scene I sketch.