Friday, July 02, 2010

Teaching Myself to Draw 6

I was supposed to meet a friend for tea and conversation at the local Starbucks (of all places) this morning, just to hang out and catch up. Well, I got stood up. But it was a lovely morning, not a cloud in the sky, not humid, not too warm: a pleasant summer day. So I took my Earl Grey tea (I don't drink coffee, which is why Starbucks is not my usual hangout) and sat outside on the patio, at a table shaded by one of those big umbrellas, while I waited.

It was not a waste, and I wasn't upset about being stood up, because it was a pleasant getaway from home for an hour or so. I sipped my tea and wrote in my journal.

And I made a couple of drawings, and worked on a couple of poems.

This ash tree was the best drawing of the morning. Made my with my Japanese brush pen, it's a depiction of the ash tree across the parking lot from where I was sitting. The long fronds of the leaves were blowing gently in the breeze, making patterns of pale green over the dark shade of the tree's branches, against the pale cloudless sky.

This is a pretty good drawing, I think. It captures the subtle movement of the breeze in the leaves. It seemed proper to sketch those leaves as pointillistic dots, following the curves and lines they made while moving in the wind. I also think the relative thicknesses and forms of the branches came out rather well. I'm learning to control the thick and thin strokes of the brush: the main trunk was drawn in one stroke, from top to bottom, across the length of the page.

So I'm still teaching myself to draw. I'm liking the results more, now, when I attempt to depict something natural and real, rather than an abstract drawing or brush-calligraphy piece out of my imagination.

Here's my usual enso warm-up drawing. I've made it a habit, when starting out a brush-drawing session, to warm up, or loosen up, by filling a sketchbook page with enso. Sometimes something emerges from that, most of the time it's just a sktech page. This session I started out with a bunch of enso, as usual, and it quickly turned into a set of raindrop circles on the still water of a pond. The still moment when the rain has only just started, the drops just beginning to fall. That smell of fresh rain in the air.

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