It’s a balmy 41F here this morning, with the promise of rain. Mr. Weatherman is promising something called “sun” about mid-week so maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to sketch outdoors this week. Hope so.
Since I am limited to indoor sketching, though, I thought I might use the time to do something I’m really not good at – use a pencil. When I started sketching it just seemed natural to use my fountain pens so I skipped the traditional ‘use pencil first’ approach to drawing. I think there were virtues to this approach as I had to concentrate on seeing relationships before I put anything on paper. The drawback, I think, is that sketching with pens emphasizes contour more than masses. It’s also rather silly, and sometimes embarrassing, for a sketcher not to know how to use a pencil.
So, when I went to the museum yesterday I was determined to use a graphite pointy device to make a drawing. I decided to draw Athena, with her leather helmet pushed back on her head. She’s a reminder that strong women were very much a part of the Greek religion. The daughter of Zeus, Athena was the goddess of reason, intelligent activity, arts and literature.
I did this drawing on Stillman & Birn Alpha series paper. While I love the paper for my pen and ink drawings, I have no idea whether it’s good or bad for pencil. It seemed to work. I used Staedtler pencils. I always have fun drawing on location but admit that a pencil felt clumsy in my hand. I think I learned a lot but I’m not sure what at this point (grin).