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Trial and Error


It’s actually a pretty good brain exercise to draw in a different style or format than you are used to doing. I’ve taken only one formal art class in college and there was an exercise in which we could only draw for the entire day with our opposite drawing hand. The prof told us about a guy who had drawn with his right hand his entire life and then switched to his left for a month. He put up two slides of the same portrait. The first was done with his right hand, the second his left. There was a very distinct difference in the two. The original portrait was off balance when compared with the second. Within a month this guy realized that for some left side/right side brain reason he was able to convey things more symmetrically if he drew with his “opposite” hand. Interesting.

What relevance does this have to the above drawing? None whatsoever, but I have attempted once or twice since that art class to draw with my left hand; it’s awkward at first, but it became surprisingly more comfortable pretty quickly after several attempts. I’m positive that I will post some left-handed drawings in the future, it’s just a matter of digging them up =)

So I tell this to you, grasshopper: Don’t become complacent with the style you feel most comfortable with as an artist. No, that’s not Confucius, that’s practical.

Onto the drawing above…This was done one evening about a year and a half ago when I decided to experiment with brushes. Prior to this, I had inked exclusively with a Hunt 102 pen nib – no brushes unless there was a huge spot of black. Now, I ink exclusively with a brush, I think it’s a 0 or something like that. I’m not good enough yet to ink exclusively with a number 3 or 4 like Klaus Jansen or other professional inkers. I also found out that for me it’s not necessary to use the best brushes such as Windsor & Newton, or other expensive sable-tipped brushes. I say this only because I had a less than good experience with an expensive brush. After waiting for the brush to come off the backorder list (the local art stores don’t carry Windsor & Newton) it wasn’t longer than a month and the tip started fraying out. I take great care of my stuff, always rinsing, etc. as soon as I finish so I can’t understand why this happened. Now, I go to my local retail store, buy six or seven non-expensive sable-tipped brushes for the same price as one good one. I typically get about four to five months of usage from each. Maybe one day I’ll splurge on another good brush, but for now the poor man’s method seems to work out fine.

But then again, I could use a stick from the backyard and be satisfied. I’ll find a way to get ink to paper regardless.

J out.

Great drawing, man!

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