Recent sketches and a question

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Recent sketches and a question

Postby RajeshS » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:58 pm

Hi,

These are 3 sketches that I recently did in a bigger sketch book. A4 size - so about 11x8 inches.

I have almost always sketched in my Handbook Journal - a 5.5x3.5 inch book -ever since I started sketching.

What I've found is that the larger area offers more "freedom" in hand movement.

So my question is: First is that true - or am I just imagining it. Secondly - does sketching small inhibit the development of a more freer hand?

Russ - you almost always sketch small. But your sketches are as expressive and as good as it gets. Hence my question on whether this is an unfound fear. Or did you develop yourself first on a larger scale and then moved small?


Tanvi.jpg
Tanvi.jpg (69.33 KiB) Viewed 106 times


Baba.jpg
Baba.jpg (131.95 KiB) Viewed 106 times


Siya.jpg
Siya.jpg (104.35 KiB) Viewed 106 times
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RajeshS
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Re: Recent sketches and a question

Postby Russ » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:58 pm

These are fantastic sketches! I started out sketching much larger. My standard size for many years was around B5. But the crowded daily subway commute with all those models who have nothing to do but "pose" for me made the small portable format very appealing. :)

I did have to adjust my style and tools. Now I'm even using a thin 0.2mm lead pencil which forced me to learn to sketch with a lighter touch so it wouldn't break with every stroke!
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Re: Recent sketches and a question

Postby Rebecca » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:28 pm

RajeshS wrote:...I have almost always sketched in my Handbook Journal - a 5.5x3.5 inch book -ever since I started sketching.
What I've found is that the larger area offers more "freedom" in hand movement.
So my question is: First is that true - or am I just imagining it. Secondly - does sketching small inhibit the development of a more freer hand?

I think it's great that you are trying larger sizes. Yes, it's true -- now you can swing your arm around and even tip and turn your head while you scan the page. It looks like you have thicker lines in these sketches, and I think these would be harder to control in the small sketches. At this scale, they work. You have a good range of thick and thin, dense and soft going on. A wider range of line translates to more expressive. You can put the qualities you find expressive in the larger drawings into the smaller ones. I think it's a good idea to discover the range you get from larger sketches, then find a way to bring those same effects to the smaller scale. That way, when being portable is essential, you don't lose anything by keeping it small.
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Re: Recent sketches and a question

Postby Andre Jute » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:02 am

More than three millennia of Chinese scholars can make their art dull and repetitive, but I doubt that in so long they would get the basic method wrong. They start their children off with large elements because it is easier to go from large to small than from small to large. That's why those water-painting sheets so popular among Western beginners of Chinese calligraphy have blocks about 3 inches square in which to practice the basic strokes, and why a "beginner" brush is so large.

My own favorite sketching sizes are postcard (in a tin that does duty as tiny watercolour pochade box) and A5 (roughly 6x8in) bound books -- that's as much as I can get done before the subject moves away or the light shifts or the Irish weather catches me or I get bored. But then I was a portrait painter in my youth, so, unlike Rajesh, I already had the training and the experience of working large when I became a sketcher. In fact, now that I think back on it, I remember my teacher saying, "Anything smaller than poster [12x18in) is a vignette, not a painting. When it comes to the examination, choose the largest size permitted."

Beautiful portrait work, Rajesh, very sensitive.
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Re: Recent sketches and a question

Postby RajeshS » Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:41 am

Rebecca wrote:... wider range of line translates to more expressive. You can put the qualities you find expressive in the larger drawings into the smaller ones.


Andre Jute wrote:That's why those water-painting sheets so popular among Western beginners of Chinese calligraphy have blocks about 3 inches square in which to practice the basic strokes, and why a "beginner" brush is so large


Interesting Andre. And thanks Rebecca and Russ.

I think this should work then - I will try to be a little more regular on this now on.

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