Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Fantastic Fiction, Sketching a Likeness with a Pencil and the literary parlour game called 'Humiliation'

The trouble with art, in the D.I.Y. sense is that it just isn’t like riding a bicycle, there are lots of aspects of the primary artist’s skill, which when you really get down to the nuts and bolts of the thing, is drawing something so that someone else can recognise what is you have drawn, that just get worse and worse if you don’t practice them regularly.

What I mean here is that if you reach a point where you can draw reasonable likenesses of horses (that’s Red Rum) reasonable likenesses of people (that’s the queen) and like old Stubbs you just draw horses for a while, you go to draw the king with his winner and it’s just any old king.

As I guess most people know I work in a bookshop and so I thought that while I ought to practice drawing likenesses as my ability here has gone right off, but as I like to think I am a conscientious bookseller I would start with authors.

The main website for fiction is Fantastic Fiction www.fantasticfiction.co.uk the authors are in alphabetical order, I have just done the ones that have photos where you can see the whole face with a background with some contrast. Embarrassing really as not only do the sketches not look much like the authors but David Lodge’s parlour game called 'Humiliation' comes to mind as I don’t think I have read any of them either.

All of the sketches were done using a B hardness 0.5mm propelling pencil on a £2.99 pad from The Works, you may have heard plenty of instruction about drawing faces, like drawing an egg first, these are about A5 size, being half of an A4 and even at this size one of the main problems is smudging your drawing with your hand. So for the most part I find you have to work from the top left corner to the bottom right, assuming you are right handed like I am.

The pictures will probably expand if clicked on compulsively, so you can see just how bad they are, I have pencilled the authors names on the pictures as I didn’t want to put them up in text with them not looking much like the people I had drawn as the search engines would have picked them up.

Hopefully a few weeks of practice and they will look more like the victims.                    

and so it goes on, even some I've read

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