Wednesday, November 16, 2011
As I previously mentioned, I've been working through Ivan Brunetti's book on Cartooning. In coming weeks, I'll post my work here for you to see. I was thinking of calling this series "Wednesdays with Ivan" or some such silliness.
Anyway, don't expect me to post every single exercise that is in the book. First off, all the exercises teach something, but I don't think they necessarily produce great art (at least not at first). Secondly, if your interested in learning what Brunetti has to teach, go out and buy the damn book.
This exercise is supposed to be "zen" practice in drawing. It starts with drawing 100 squares in your notebook. My sketchbook is 8 1/2 x 11, so I found it easier to just make 88 one-inch squares (I owe Ivan 12 doodles). Then doodle in each square but don't take more than five seconds per drawing.
Sounds easy, right?
No. This shit was hard. It's hard just thinking of subjects! Brunetti suggests "persons, places, occupations, concepts, emotions, etc.." but man, that mental well runs dry shockingly fast.
What's way harder is keeping each sketch to under five seconds. I was rarely able to do that. If you spend only five seconds on 88 squares this should take less than 10 minutes. I think this took me over an hour (I worked on it several minutes a day over about four days).
I think the point of the exercise (along with others in the first chapter) is to try to get to the symbolic heart of an image. How little can you draw of something and still have it readable as that thing?
I like most of the drawings, but the whole sheet reminds me of those "fun" pictures on Facebook that people post and tag the drawings with their friends names (You know the ones I'm talking about)). Feel free to use this one in that manner if you're that type of person.
Difficulty level aside, I think this exercise was really liberating. I think I get caught up in making everything so perfect and (to the best of my meager ability) realistic. It amazing to think that you can make an image more readable by making it more abstract, not less.
I'm definitely going to do this again and time myself to see if I can keep each one under five seconds for each. I might make a list of subjects beforehand so I'm not wasting time thinking about what to draw.