Here are several sketches done from life, each drawn very slowly in my new left-handed technique, while visiting a very sunny Presidio last weekend with Julia.
Lately I have been trying to draw with my left hand, and I have been doing silly, cartoonish illustrations for the childhood recollections I have been writing. I quite like the effect that the clumsy, left-handed illustrations give; the awkwardness reminds me of the drawings I would do at the very same age I was in the stories themselves. So all in all, I am pleased with how that is going. But my other challenge is to do left-handed life drawing, and this has been a lot harder. While a cartoon often hilariously gains from an awkwardly placed line, in a representational sketch, where the goal is to record something as accurately as possible, clumsy does not cut the mustard. But I soldier onwards, awkwardly (and excruciatingly slowly.)
Julia has had a goal of her own to do a plein aire painting each week this year, and that has worked nicely with my own desire to push harder into left-handed drawing territory by attempting representational sketches, so we have been going out drawing as often as we can. So far, we are on track with one on-site drawing day per week this year, and last weekend we actually did two days in a row, both at the Presidio, which turns out to be a wonderful place to sketch. Ample parking (all paid though, sadly) several places to eat, easy-access toilets, and benches to sit on, and most importantly, a wide variety of interesting things to draw. To make it extra special, we were blessed with the most marvelous weather.
I managed to get the line-work for these 5 sketches mostly completed on location, but did the water colour washes later at home, using a photograph to guide me on the lighting. Some people think using photos is a cheat, but I figure it’s not too bad if the drawing itself was done on the spot, and besides, that’s the best I can manage at present. I need to spend extra time and concentration with the brush versus the pencil, and the chances of spilling something on site, makes the whole thing more pleasant at home, where I can take my time. A LOT of time. Each of these sketches took me WAY longer than they would have normally (5 times longer in fact) but I feel like I am getting somewhere, and I am enjoying the process.
Prior to The Presidio, our favorite outdoor sketching site was Golden Gate Park, between the De Young museum and the Natural History Museum, where there are likewise lots of neat things to draw. I will post my other outdoor scribbles from some of those earlier, away-team missions later, when I’ve had a chance to scan them. This outrageously decent weather wont last forever (and knowing San Francisco, it will fail when Summer swings around) but while it’s sunny and warm, we will try to take advantage of it and go out on location as much as we can.
So hold on tight!