"A commonplace book is what a provident poet cannot subsist without, for this proverbial reason, that “great wits have short memories:” and whereas, on the other hand, poets, being liars by profession, ought to have good memories; to reconcile these, a book of this sort, is in the nature of a supplemental memory, or a record of what occurs remarkable in every day’s reading or conversation." - Jonathan Swift, "A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet"

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Drawings: Peter Parker & Gwen Stacy + Katniss Everdeen

One of the few books I managed to squeeze into my suitcase for this trip is a sketch book. I find that drawing brings me a lot of calm and focus, and it's a nice way to spend time with whatever images are swirling through my head, something that's especially important while traveling and exploring, I think. Not that the images are always of what I'm seeing around me. Sometimes I sit down to sketch a landscape in front of me, as a way of enjoying it more and noticing more of its details. But sometimes I like to revisit something more familiar.

So today I'm sharing a couple of drawings I did over the last two days. The first, which I actually drew second, is a little sketch I did the day after finally seeing The Amazing Spider-Man, which was wonderful. I'm not very good at likenesses, and this was done from memory, because I didn't have a picture of either actor handy, but I had fun doing it.

I discovered while doing this drawing that working on sketches in a coffee shop is a great idea. First, because you can surreptitiously peer at people to see how faces look in profile and where the eye brow actually hits the line of the brow. Second, because, especially if you sit next to a small child, you get automatic encouragement from the fact that they are constantly trying to see what you're drawing. It makes you feel like you're preparing something super-secret or super-awesome.

The other drawing was initially just going to be a random sketch, but it turned into a portrait of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss from The Hunger Games. I did have to look up the mockingjay pin to see how it was shaped.

Again, I'm not sure it looks like her. But it was fun to do, especially the braid.

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