My drawings are a marriage of realism and subtle exaggeration. I usually start a drawing by building on something I’ve seen and felt, and then I edit the drawing as I work to make it into a better visual understanding of that. I follow different creative energies throughout the process and I’ve learned to trust their flows.
When a scene attracts me to it, I can see/hear its rhythms. It feels like I can hear the scene singing and the textures, lines, shapes, and shadows are like musical notes. I furiously take many digital photos at different focuses and exposures so I’ll have a wide range of images to work from. Then I move the photos into Photoshop and work out a composition that I can see/hear more clearly.
The composition stage is usually very fast and probably fits most people’s expectation of how an artist works. I play music, I move around a lot, I sing and talk to myself, and feel very plugged in to a lively kind of creative energy.
Once the composition feels right, I print out a “working” image and start the drawing process. Drawing is largely a “felt” thing to me. The printed image is a solid framework to start from, but there’s always more “feeling into” the drawing to be done before it’s finished.
Feeling My Way Through A Drawing
The slow energy connected to drawing is totally different from the lively energy of composition. It’s deep and wide and can be sustained over a longer period of time.
Each drawing has its own unique energy too. When I pick up a drawing to work on it, I always connect with its special energy so I’m able to work on any piece at anytime.
I know a drawing is done when it feels done. Occasionally a drawing will drag its feet and not want to leave the drawing board though, and I have to be patient with those pieces. Sometimes I leave them in a dark place, like a drawer, to hibernate for a while. When I can look at them with a fresh eye again, I can see what they need to be finished.