20 May 08
Trying to Work Larger
People tend to draw at a constant size relative to what they see. What I tend to do is draw what I see, and if it’s far away, that can be pretty small. Some people draw smaller than what they see, others larger, but the scale seems to be constant unless you make an effort. It’s a big brain shift to switch out of that. Working small has its advantages, of course: it’s fast, and when it’s fast you can go for the gesture, which I try and do a lot.
But sometimes it’s not enough. And when Jack Laws suggested I try working larger, I took it to heart, mostly because if you’re doing a bird’s portrait, even in sketch form, it helps if it’s large enough to show detail.
The Bullock’s oriole was feeding in the mulberry tree out back this morning. I could have picked up my teeny sketchbook and done a 1:1 pen and ink drawing, which would have made the bird about 2” tall in my book. But I’m trying to work larger, so I picked up the 12×16 Canson pad and started with color.
It’s a start. It’s a brain shift. But I have to trust it will get easier…