Wednesday 22 August 2007

Open that sketchbook!

The Flying Trilobite is my filter for what I am most engaged by. This includes fascinating scientific work, interesting books, and painting and drawing.

Not every artistic specimen is Fine Art. On the sci-art listserv, there has been an interesting thread going about how private should your sketchbook be? I am usually fairly reserved with my own - signing sketches with ' Glendon Mellow Mr. Smarty-Artsie ' is not quite my thing.

Sketches differ from drawings in that drawings are finished pieces, with graphite or pencil, pastel or charcoal, grease pencil or skritchy quill, and sketches are the roughs, the studies. Sometimes my original pieces have an energy I like more than the final. This is what I am struggling with in my Richard Dawkins unauthorised portrait - I need to regain the energy of the sketch in my painting.

Here's a few of mine:

A winged pumpkin & a bubbly mermaid on the next page.

Michelle's foot.

Our hermit crab Shiny's first shell. Featuring some bling. Saucy!

Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil. I drew this on an Air Canada flight, Toronto to Calgary at about 38 511 feet, 459 mph. I like the thought of that. Hurtling through the air. Jerry Seinfeld said something about that once - that when you're in a vehicle, you're moving, but you're sitting still. I like the thought: I may not be da Vinci, but I can draw an extinct arthropod while that high up, at that speed.

A few sites by other people with great sketches:
Leslie d'Allesandro Hawes
Jesse Graham's Art
Jacqueline Rae's Art
Digital Graphite

Want to add another link for sketches you like, or have done yourself? Please add it in the comments section!


Anonymous said...

If I get really stuck, I turn the drawing upside down to look at it. Then it becomes a study in tonal qualities, rather than a thing or a person. If that isn't revealing enough, hold it up to a mirror and look at it in reverse. Or if totally desperate, hold it up to a mirror upside down...the art, not you.
And sketches are always better than the final drawing! (dangit)

Anonymous said...

Oh, drawing flying trilobite fossils on a plane can get you a seat in a row by yourself... :)
Wasn't that a movie..trilobites on a plane?

Glendon Mellow said...

Leslie, you are a genius with coloured pencil...I was sleepy when I posted this entry and intended to have you on it. That's fixed now.

Glendon Mellow said... wife bravely sat next to me while I drew the trilobite...perhaps she was separating me from others.

I *thought*
I saw Sam Jackson!

Anonymous said...

I love sketches! I have never been able to keep a decent, "official", sketchbook. I am the 'draw on a cocktail napkin' type of sketcher. I used to catch hell from my high school art teacher for sketching in bic pen on notebook paper.

...Little did he realize that I was being held captive in a public school, and I had to make due with available supplies...

His point being that some of the sketches might turn out to be very good, and should be done on good paper. This was before all the care about archival papers. I will have to post some bic pen "OLD" sketches on my blog.

Glad I found you again. Both my husband and I enjoy the blog.
He is from a geologist family. We lived in the 'Permian Basin' of West Texas. He's drooling over the pics of your fossils.
If I say somethng like , "look at this cool rock!", he says, "That is a blah blah blah concretion from the blah blah blah period, formed when the ... He's so cute when he does that!

Glendon Mellow said...

I agree, looking at a piece at a strange angle always helps. I usually use the mirror.

I think I had a few neat ones with pens in high school too...I think sketching is something some artists, usually figurative or realistic, cannot help a lot of the time. My hands need to be busy.

Thanks to you and your husband for finding the blog to your liking. (did you find me through Frozen Toothpaste? I like dropping in there.) I have a lot more photos from the trip, and its really worth a vacation to Alberta. I totally skipped the Stampede.

Permian fossils....the Big E extinction...scary cool.

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