In my twenties I made a habit of sleeping with things I loved. My two favorite bed companions were my EB’s (rock climbing shoes) and a collection of Morandi’s drawings of bottles (the only book I’ve ever seriously contemplated stealing from the library.) I did several miserable cross hatch drawings that left me frustrated and determined to avoid cross hatching for the rest of my life. I much prefer squiggle drawings.
However, I still love Morandi’s drawings. The John Ruskin exercises taught me perseverance and patience. Sometimes it simply takes more lines, a lot more lines. I decided to give cross hatching another try. I started off drawing a few directional lines thinking it might go in the direction of my pencil orb drawings. Instead, this man carrying a cake with a Seuss-like appearance emerged and kept me entertained during the long and tedious cross hatching process.
I’m not sure that the progression of the drawing is obvious. Moving from left to right:
A. I thought I was done. Scanning drawings helps me to see the weaknesses. I felt that the strange cake decoration looked flat. The value was too light and drew attention away from the man carrying the cake.
B. I thought I was done. The white shapes of the forearm and rolled up shirt sleeve looked like cut outs glued onto the drawing.
C. I added a few lines to the forearm and shirt, connecting those shapes with the figure. I thought I was done.
D. I darkened the background, creating a better sense of space behind the arm and around the cake.
My sketchbook is so forgiving. It doesn’t care about the technique, the subject matter or the struggles expressed on its many pages. I might just take it to bed with me tonight.
Drawing: Preppy Fountain Pen with black ink cartridge.