Saturday 9 December 2017

Look Ma, No Hands!

Ok, it's been a while, like a LOOOONG time.  Sorry, Mr Ghost.  But I hope this one makes up for the wait. Maybe a little bit.

Speaking of taking a long time, this little drawing (aproximate 7" x 6") took about two weeks. I just kept chipping away at it, adding a bit of shading here, a building there. I did a rough pencil perspective grid but didn't really follow it too rigorously, so it is a bit off here and there.

It all started with the explosion hitting the building on the left and the people running away.  Then I drew the two vehicles to the entry's right, then the lower buildings behind the vehicles and on and on. The plane was a fairly late addition, and the guy in the bombed out building looking on was quite late in the game. It was fun to do, just shade bit now and then throughout the days. 

I did a drawing in high school that had almost the same perspective and theme but I got bored and tired shading bricks and it wasn't as interesting a scene as this. Worst of all I put a sign on one building that read "Joe's Bar" (inspired eh?). Rightly so, the teacher pointed out that with that bit of writing, it was hard to see or interpret the drawing beyond that sign. It made the viewer think that "Joe's Bar" was the point to the drawing, and it wasn't. So now I make sure that unless the text is totally necessary, I leave legible, readable words out. Sometimes there are things that look like letters or writing, but they are vague and unreadable.

I like how it feels like you're in this one.  I like the rough pen strokes, I like the heavier lines which help suggest depth or layering. I like the dynamic composition with the diagonal lines and of course, I really like the scene and the destruction. It's cool. It'd be terrible to be there, but it looks amazing.

And then we could talk about the why of the drawing. Why of all things did I draw this?! Where the heck did it come from? I dunno. I can't say I have desires to blow up buildings with my own personal figher jet or that I feel I'm living in a war zone or that I'm fighting something, though that last one might be true, who really knows.

The one thing I do know is I kept doing it and leaving it on my desk because I wanted someone, many people to see it and say glowing things like "WOW! That's amazing! Nice drawing! You're really good! Come with me, I need you to do this great thing over here," or something like that.

Is that why I draw? To show off? To be impressive? It's embarrassing, but I think there is something to that. I want appreciation. Selfish? Check. Needy? Check. Like many other "artists"?


  1. Nice!
    Great lines and composition and overall design. And no "Joe's Bar" sign! There's so much going on and so much imagination on display. I especially love the rough pen strokes around the blast coming from the fighter. Just very rough but also very dynamic and powerful.
    Your "why do I draw?" comment is very interesting. Artists have this mystical thing around them, created by others. They call it "talent". Ooh, I can't draw a straight line, you're so talented!
    Personally, I don't think talent exists. I think it's just practice and determination. And maybe that determination comes from a need for attention or affirmation. I bet all artists started practicing and accumulating "talent" after somebody said "that's a very good drawing, you're an artist - you're so talented".

  2. Maybe you're right but I still think it is a bit sad.

    I mean, shouldn't we be a bit more elevated, to do our work for a better reason than to show off or say "I'm here!!!" but maybe that thinking again puts the "artist" on a pedestal again.

    I heard two related things recently. In one an artist was helping others start doing creative things and encouraged them to do them for themselves. The other thing was from a writer who suggested people should write and try to believe nobody will read what they write.

    Both these suggest that if one is going to do a creative work, it must be done for oneself and whatever reasons one might have, not to do it for an audience or (probably more importantly) for a market.

    I both like this and find problems with it.

    We need to be free to create whatever we do without outside influence or concern about how the piece will be received.

    But also, if we negate a future audience, we might do something that fails to communicate to anybody.

    And how does one do creative work with the express purpose of selling it.... AAAANnd to keep that work pure, free, non-commercial?

  3. I go with the belief that you should do what you really want to do and then the money will just happen.

    I think that's also true with art. If you create something important to you and really well thought out and executed, then somebody is gonna respond.

    But, more than that belief, I believe that nothing really matters. We're here for a fleeting moment and we should do what we want to do (without hurting - and hopefully somehow helping - others). Don't worry about meaning or legacy -- just do what you like doing. Have fun. Enjoy your life!


Thanks for your input!