One of the wonderful things about posting my drawing online is that the little pieces take on the same weight and significance as the big ones. This is one of my favorite drawings. It takes up about half a page in a 3.5 inch by 5.5 inch sketchbook. I did it one evening after a teacher explained a method of showing depth in a drawing when the lighting doesn’t do the job for you. The idea was that we assign the lightest values to the part of the object that is closest, while making things darker as they curve away. This is, by the way, exactly opposite of the way my next teacher encouraged us to view things. He said to make closer objects darker (take a look at a group of hills some time – the further ones will be lighter). One of the joys and frustrations of my haphazard arts education is contradictory instructions. Either that or the lack of a bridge explaining the purpose or use of opposing systems.
My teachers have been unanimous in one way – they all encourage large drawing instead of small. There are several reasons for this: larger drawings are more forgiving of mistakes, they encourage looser work, and they command a larger price on the market. Despite this advice I remain still loyal to my ever-present tiny sketchbooks. I would rather see the mistakes and know to correct them. And I’m not worried about selling my work (yet?). It is good for me to loosen up on larger pieces, but the portability of my sketchbooks outweigh that. And in what little time I have for art, it’s nice to work small so that I can complete what I’m working on more quickly.