This month I give you a short time lapse video that represents roughly an hour or so of drawing. During the video you will see me use half a dozen different kinds of pencils. This is not an indication that you need a half dozen different pencils but an illustration of the fact that practically any pencil will do.

This time lapse is roughly 3.5 minutes long and begins with a very minimal abstract (barely a) sketch.

Abstract Sketch

For my personal work this is the kind of shorthand that I prefer because I want most of the discovery, that energy, to be present in the final drawing. Sometimes, actually quite often, you get different results if you are in exploration mode as opposed to re-creation/iteration mode.

In concept work iteration is often necessary because you’re chasing someone else’s idea for approval.

In my own work it is rare that I like the second version of a drawing better than the first. Often the second version in my personal work goes off in its own direction and I can then reference back to the very first sketch to start again on a different piece.

This is essentially a first step towards a more comprehensive video that will show a fully realized piece from start to finish, whether it will be a finished drawing or end with a painted version.

Tools of the Trade

A comprehensive look at the tools used in this short:

Strathmore 400 series medium weight drawing paper

Sakura Electric Eraser

Geddes Swiss made pencil sharpener

Kum long point sharpener

Tombow Mono 100 pencils, 4B-6B

Alvin Aluminum pencil extenders

Fabre castle TK Fine Vario .3 mm mechanical pencil sharpened with the Geddes

Caran d’ache mechanical fixpencil with 8B lead (the super long lead, sharpened with the Staedtler Lead Pointer-large blue guy)

Ever present kneaded eraser

Allen Williams_Little Death

Allen Williams_Little Death

A note:

This is a character study for one of the elements in a larger painting. She may end up looking like this or very similar, or she may morph into another version of herself.

I often spend time doing these explorations of a character, or each character to be featured in a painting or drawing.  Sometimes these drawings are implemented and come to life quickly and other times they are tucked away, hidden in a drawer until I get to that time… when it is time for The Ritual of Looking as I call it (and believe I have talked about before). It is when I browse through hundreds of previous sketches until something jumps out at me wanting to be realized. Often nothing jumps out and I start with something new.

If she isn’t used in the piece that she was intended for, she comes out again during The Ritual to possibly come alive in another piece… at another time.