Friday, March 17, 2006
A typical page from my sketchbook
How come my sketchbook isn’t so sketchy? While surfing a few other illustrator blogs, I noticed how many artist scan and display pages from their sketchbooks. Cool idea! Figured I'd do the same. But after flipping through my non-anatomy related sketchbooks, I came to realize that most of my sketchbooks contain no sketching at all. I usually end up writing.
The above image is a typical page from one of my sketchbooks. On this day, I had visited the opening of a new skateboard park here in Austin. I had taken my son, and planned to sketch the skaters as my son played on the playscape. My plan was to capture the skater’s movements, the excitement in their animated body language. It was meant to be an exercise in expressing myself through line and motion. I ended up writing.
There was so much action, it seemed to be a scene right out of a YA novel, so I took copious notes about the noises I heard. I noted the conversations of the teenagers, their language, their clothing, even the hairstyles and makeup the girls wore. I tried to figure out the protocol the skaters were using to determine who would skate when as a group of about 15 kids (and several grey haired old men) stood around what appeared to be a huge cement bowl dug deep into the ground. The grey haired old men — mid-40-ish in age, I’d assumed — were just as skilled as the 15-year old boys. Ouch!— I thought; some of those moves hurt just looking. The skaters watched each other closely, and it was rare that two skaters would end up in the bowl at the same time. They somehow knew when it was their turn to release their upturned boards, and let themselves drop into the hole.
I’d planned to use some of this research in the novel I'm so-called writing. So-called, I say, ‘cause I ain’t written more than a loose outline, and a few pages.