Sunday, October 18, 2015

- I can draw?

I've tried to draw for years ... tried learning from books, and watching other people draw, and even talked my way into an upper-level drawing class in college. It didn't end well (sorta like Phil Collins' I Can't Dance, come to think of it).

As a result I long ago reached the conclusion that I can't draw.

But some time back when I made a similar statement, Mo told me about Frederick Franck's book The Zen of Seeing and said, "Caress the edges." I really liked that, although even after reading the book cover-to-cover I wasn't quite sure how.

Then Jude posted her original Magic Feather tutorial the other day and I knew I was going to have to figure out what Mo meant. So I got out my new Inktense pencils, stole a turkey feather out of Don's assemblage, and tried ...

What I tried today

The first Madder Brown feather didn't look right, so I tried some other browns until I found one that was better. Then I tried again, and actually kinda liked it ...

Inktense Bark 2000

But looking closely at the actual feather I realized that each barb (I had to look up that term) varied in color from brown to white to brown again, like ikat (poetically described here by Jude Hill) ...

It reminded me of the crewel embroidery long-and-short stitch that I learned from my Aunt Jean more than 45 years ago. She cautioned me not to follow the standard written instructions, but to vary stitch lengths to get a more natural effect ... sort of like the feather. 

So I grabbed a bit of linen patchplay, sketched another feather, and started stitching ...

Note the stitches don't line up as neatly as the actual feather (yet)

I'm not there yet, but I decided to take some pictures and document how far I've come before I go any further. Because really, I guess I can sorta draw after all.