I’ve started going to drawing classes, one of my better ideas.  Drawing turns out to be a wonderfully engrossing and calming activity.

I particular enjoy drawing electric-lit scenes in charcoal, a medium that allows you to create a sense of luminousness by covering the paper in layers of grey and then removing it in patches with a putty rubber to create areas of brightness.

This is one of my better efforts so far: a glass ball in front of a lamp.

Lamp drawing compressed

I’m hoping that in due course I might be able to use this sort of technique to draw some of the creatures and trees of Eden, lit by their own luminosity or the luminosity of other organisms nearby.  That’s going to be a while though, because it is hard enough drawing what is actually in front of me.

In fact the exact thing that’s hard about this kind of drawing is that you must draw what’s in front of you, and forget what’s in your head.    The only way I could do the glass ball in the picture above (and, let’s be honest, I’m pretty damn pleased with it) is by stopping thinking about it as a glass ball and just noticing the various different shades of light and darkness and the shapes they made.

2 thoughts on “Drawing”

  1. I remember reading something that Monet said on a similar theme, about how difficult it was to draw what you saw, and not what you imagined. I think this is true of the way that we think about each other, we tell stories about people’s characters, rather than observe what they’re really like.

    What really puzzles me, though, is who keeps a glass ball in front of a lamp?

  2. I’m obviously not au fait with the etiquette of glass ball placement.

    Interesting what you say about how we think about each other. We see our own projections rather than what’s actually there: that’s certainly true. It’s never struck me before but it seems to me now that what I said about drawing is also true about writing convincing characters in fiction. They come alive when we stop ascribing to them the feelings that we think they ought to feel and instead sit behind their eyes and figure out what they actually would feel.

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