Book Review: Adebanji Alede’s Addictive

Here’s an interesting fact.  One in five Africans are Nigerian.  Nigeria is a big country. Its most lucrative export is oil, but they’ve exported something even better in the creative dynamo called Adebanji Alede.

Adebanji says he’s addicted to the creation of art.  He is fond of oil painting on location and loves sketching people on the streets and in trains.  He’s had a YouTube channel for many years where he presents his art and artistic ideas as well as energetic attempts to motivate others to be as addicted as he is to sketching.

Early in 2020 he published a book titled The Addictive Sketcher which is a superb text for anyone wanting to learn how to draw quickly and in a loose, but accurate style.  I’ve read it twice so far and highly recommend it.

This month he’s followed up with a second book titled Addictive.  This isn’t a traditional how-to book; it’s better.  Addictive is 275 pages (8.5″ x 8.5″) of Adebanji’s blood, sweat, and tears.  It’s the entire contents of his over-stuffed sketchbooks.  What makes it so useful, at least to me, is that he works with several mediums (ballpoint, pencil, fineliners, oil pencils) and adds color and shading using a small set of Tombow markers.  Studying the gazillion sketches in this book is a treat.

In true Adebanji style, though, that wasn’t enough.  He’s done a series of a dozen or more videos associated with the book where he takes an example from it and recreates it right before your eyes, discussing the order of events as well as the whys and wherefores of his creations.  So, if you’re even slightly interested in gaining the ability to draw people in the wild, you need this book.  Here’s some examples from his book.  Each of the 275 pages is like these.

Halloween In Sketches – Day Four

This is day four of my warmed-over Halloween/Thanksgiving sketches.  It’s also Halloween and I hope you all have a Happy Halloween even if you aren’t out trick-or-treating and/or scaring other people or yourself.  Here’s another couple sketches I did last year at this time.  Hopefully by October 2021 things will be a bit better for all of us.

I got lucky with this sketch.  Anyone who has tried knows that sketching moving people is hard.  In this case there was a very long row of kiosks and this mother was enjoying (??) some time with her son.  He wanted to touch everything, of course, and so it was fun to watch the interaction as they looked at pumpkins.  I was lucky because I started grabbing the people shapes as they stood in front of one kiosk and they took up a position that was almost identical, in front of another kiosk and stood there for a while.  I drew them and then the the first kiosk full of pumpkins.  One thing about pumpkins, they don’t move.

This is my best Halloween sketch ever, though the credit must go to the people who mounted a huge spider on their house.  I was riding the bus home from a doctor’s appointment when I first saw it.  The next day I went back, sat across from the house on a very busy street and drew it.  Isn’t it amazing?

Halloween In Sketches – Day Three

This is day three of my Halloween celebration.  I have to confess that I’ve been a bit sheepish about presenting the sketches that I did many years ago.  I’m not very good artist but I used to be much worse (grin).

I did this one in 2019 and I guess it’s really more of a Thanksgiving display.  It was just outside the large farmers market near my house.  I sat at the edge of the parking lot as I drew it and there was a steady stream of people stopping to take a look.  I really enjoy those interactions, though I struggle with my French.  People in Quebec are nice, though.  Nobody laughed.  This was a “take my time” sketch and I took a lot of time.  I was also quite frozen when I finished.

This is another 2019 sketch. Given the synchrony of Canada Thanksgiving and Halloween, lots of pumpkins are sold at this time of year.  I’ll post a couple more tomorrow.

 

Halloween In Sketches – Day Two

Yesterday I started celebrating Halloween by posting sketches I’ve done during past Halloween seasons, you remember….before COVID.  Here are a couple more.  This one I remember well because I “knew” that someone was going to get upset with me standing, almost in the street, sketching their front door.  This was done in 2013.

This one was done in 2015.  It’s of a display they put up in front of city hall.  And yes, the manikin looks that stiff (grin).  More tomorrow.

 

Halloween In Sketches

Every year, during this last week in October, the sketching community posts a flood of great sketches of pumpkins, witches and ghouls of all sorts.  It’s not happening this year because we’re all sitting inside, looking out on a world that has cancelled Halloween.

But you know, we all say that our sketching provides memories, that we’re documenting our world, and we HAVE done exactly that for many Halloweens in the past.  Soo…what I’m going to do is post a couple of my old Halloween/Thanksgiving sketches each day until Halloween.  Thanksgiving in Canada is in the same month as Halloween so pumpkin displays sort of merge together.  That’s why I’m going to include some of those sketches.

To start things off I’ve gone way back.  These are the first pumpkin sketches I ever did.  The first one was done on a very rainy, cold day and I remember sitting under the eave of our farmer’s market as I sketched it.  Mostly I remember the cold.

We always claim that each sketch we do conjours up personal memories of the day we did it.  I’m afraid this one does not.  I have no idea and I suspect that’s because I set up the still life in our kitchen or some such.  Note the dates here…October 2012

More tomorrow.  I encourage others to do the same.  Let’s not let these holidays pass uncelebrated just because of a pesky little virus.