Friday, November 15, 2013

It's been awhile.....Sketchbook, Part One

It's been a very long time since I've posted anything. Like 8+ months, so it's certainly been quite a while. There haven't been any howls of protest for the dearth of recent posts, so at least I don't have to feel bad since I'm pretty sure that the audience for this blog is pretty small. And besides, I have a fairly rational excuse for not posting much. I've spent most of 2013 in various hospitals, culminating (for the time being, I hope) with having a below the knee amputation of my right leg. My point here is that this kind of changes your perspective on things and forces you to relearn how to do a lot of things you used to take for granted. Things like walking. Or sitting at a drawing board. Or, for that matter, drawing by hand with a sketchbook in your lap. You wouldn't think this would matter much but it's kind of hard to balance a sketchbook on one leg when you're in a hospital bed. But, as they say, there are ways around that...

For a long period of time I was sort of left alone in my hospital room with a very timely gift from a friend, namely a watercolor paper sketchbook, a few 2H/3H pencils and a few Micron ink pens. With nothing better to do, it was time to drag out those stone age drawing skills. No drawing board, parallel bar or T-square and once you started the ink work, erasing was definitely not an option. All of which means you draw slowly. Very slowly. I am showing the first sketchbook project here and will show a couple of the other ones I did in the same environment in some future posts.

This is a series of hypothetical plan and elevation studies for a small artist's studio. The building is very diminutive, having a 16' x 21' footprint with a fine fissured stucco exterior. The purpose here I guess was to reacquaint myself with a design vocabulary I had not used for awhile. The materials I would suggest are slate roofing, copper roof flashing, bronze frame skylights, red cedar roof / interior framing and mahogany doors, windows and exterior trim and brackets. Basically, very fine materials in a very small package. The single interior space would be open to the skylights and dormers above. All things are possible in sketchbook utopia when you are the client.....


 All of the images for this little studio were lightly constructed as hardline drawings with 3H and 4H wood pencils and then inked in freehand with Micron 02 and .005 pens. The final stages were, given the luxury of immobility induced time and patience, some very self indulgent pencil washes with HB and H pencils which, unfortunately, the scanner seriously washed out. All of the elevations were done at 3/8" scale and the composite plan drawing at 1/4" and 1/16" scale. All these drawings were all done in a multi-media water color paper (140 lb. cold press) sketchbook which just loves pencil washes done with a very light hand with a lot of time to spend. The subtleties and softness of the drawings are best seen if you click on the images to view them at a larger size. Or photograph the drawings rather thn scanning them. See the post about sketchbooks where I bitch about this a little further...


  1. Hi David,
    So sorry about your leg. Glad you are back to blogger. I love your drawings.
    I'm currently studying to become a drafts person in my first year, and my teachers are always bothering me to switch to computer drawing. So I've had to switch recently... but I won't give up without a fight! I think hand drawings are much better, they look better and take more time to do, so it's also more satisfying at the end. Your drawings inspire me to stick at it. Thanks :)
    Merry Christmas

  2. Wonderful work created by an inspirational human being. Great to see you back at it again my friend! Would love to get back to Boston to see you again in 2014. Keep in contact.

  3. Thank you, Flick. Always good to hear from you. Glad you like the drawings, that means a lot. Hope you and the family are doing well in the New Year and that we see each other this year. That would be so cool. Take care my friend.