How do I make one of these drawings?
First I take photographs. When I get them downloaded and printed, I check to see if I can see all the details. This last time, the Geezer drove me down for a second turn around the block, and I got right “up close and personal” with the building. There’s always a lot of punting and in this one, I got the folks in the center window out of scale with the other people. I’ll punt to fix it.
When I began these drawings, I always drew the whole storefront which includes things on either side, lots of sky, tall trees, and few people. As this series of genre work moved on, I got closer to the subjects and had a lot more fun doing them. I sold 85 of these things.
When I did “The Black” the first time, I did a long distance view of it. The Black is home to anything hippyish, comic books, hand done jewelry, lots of Patuli oil in the air sort of place. And too, it’s a very big store front. The first doodle was boring. I got closer in the second drawing and showed hippy’s dancing in the streets in front of the store. Less store to draw. By the time I got a third order for that building, I was very tired of drawing The Black and coloring in a stone façade. This time I covered much of it with giant kites in the OB Kite Parade. I refused all other requests not telling them that I was going mad doing little stones on the facade.
The drawings: First I draw them in pencil then over the pencil lines in permanent ink. I used what I thought was permanent at the beginning, but the ink faded. That’s a very embarrassing thing for a pen and ink artist to say….and fix. Now I use guaranteed permanent ink. I erase the pencil lines and color in the image with Prismacolor Pencils.
There’s really three kinds of colored pencils: clay based, wax based, and a base that dissolves in water. Prismacolor pencils are wax base….the clay based pencils are the best. I bought these just before I learned there were better pencils in the late 1980’s. These cheerful colors go on easily, but over the years the wax seeps to the surface and clouds the images. It’s called blooming. I’m still using them as I have them by the box load and refuse to buy more till these are gone.
This one is starting to come along. Perhaps I will do stripes of blue in the sky to wake folks up. Who knows what lives inside the soul of one of these drawings.
Life is Really in the Footnotes: