June 14, 2013

Genre Drawings: Or how I make them

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:

  • Himself:  Doing subrogation today.  He loves this.  Then tonight he has to justify buying a BBQ for the Friday Night meeting OK’d by only a few members at a skimpily attended business meeting.  Folks have resentments and think the money should have gone to Central Office.

  • Herself:  Don’t want to deal with tonight’s resentments.  Did get more cookbooks out at the Discovery shop today.  Did sit on my very expensive new glasses at the gym…..G fixed them when I got home.  I did have to get a ride home to pick up a pair of old glasses tho.  Grumpy is stopping well, and he is shifting vastly smoofler.  We are very happy Grumpyites.  Apologies too.  I'm very behind in reading my friends blogs.  Mea Culpa.  I'll catch up today.

  • Reading:  A Gourmet book by Sammy Chamberlin and his wife.  He went to school with my mother, and she was always talking about him.

  • Balance:  Gratitude for Friends and G today.


    1. I thank you for this description. I am impressed with the technical details that you must follow. You sold 85...so impressed. Was this at the store itself? And you are beginning this process again after a hiatus? Attention to the detail of the products you use is so important and I admire that you do that. I am more a slap dash person and don't respect my customers enough!

    2. I am truly amazed by your talent. I would so love such a drawing of my grandparents home but since the picture exists only in my mind my children can only guess about it from stories they've heard me tell. I certainly can't draw one.

    3. Wow! Mage, this is fabulous! You are such a talented artist. I am in awe of all you do.

    4. Fascinating. I love the techincal details behind art, especially the colors. Trying to remember the name of the artist who created the nighttime scene of the empty diner. Very famous. Was it Hopper?

      Your desire to adjust your people in the diner windown made me think of him. Dianne

    5. Oh thank you for posting your progress on the picture...it's really coming to life. I can understand that you would go crazy drawing the same subject over and over.

      Please tell your husband that the word subrogation brings a smile to my face. I loved doing that too.

    6. If you lived here, we'd try to convince you (Hubby's on the curriculum committee of our Osher Institute at the U) to do a sketching or painting class.

    7. I wondered if you would post the video on how to cook corn in the microwave again? Or give me the link? Dianne


    What a delight to get a note from you. Thanks for leaving one.


    George coming down Peter’s hall that’s lined with wood and artifacts from wonderful ocean liners of the past .             We ...