Friday, January 30, 2009

Line and color


I started the week asking for opinions about the importance of the words in a sketchblog like this one. I got great responses from many of you (thank you!) so I thought I'd close the week with another question: how much do you care about color when it comes to sketches? Most of the times I color my sketches after I get home. I just don't have the time to do it on the spot. Does that take away the immediacy of the sketch? Is it cheating? I'd love to know what you think! Have a great weekend!

I did the sketch above inside the car while waiting for my bus to arrive. It was 29 degrees outside or something like that (-1 Celsius).

[ Empecé la semana preguntado vuestra opinión sobre la importancia de los textos en un sketchblog como éste. Hubo muy buenas respuestas (¡gracias!) así que he pensado cerrar la semana con otra pregunta: ¿Qué importancia le dais al color en este tipo de dibujos? La mayoría de mis dibujos están coloreados a posteriori cuando llego a casa. Simplemente no tengo tiempo de hacerlo sobre la marcha. ¿Le quita eso la espontaneidad al dibujo? ¿Es hacer trampa? Me encantaría saber qué pensáis. ¡Buen fin de semana! ¶ El dibujo de arriba lo hice desde dentro del coche mientras esperaba el autobús. Afuera hacía un grado bajo cero de temperatura. ]


  1. Anonymous12:53 AM

    Only you, the drawer, could use a word like "cheating" to talk about CONTINUING your drawing when you're not still on the spot where you started it. I love the color. And it never would have occurred to me that it's "cheating" to add it later. Heck, you could so a rough pencil sketch when you're racing by something and do the whole thing later out of your head... works for me!

  2. For my own sketches, I find that color enlivens the scene. But some artists do fabulous black and white only.

    As for what qualifies as cheating, I don't see that doing the piece in separate time sections is cheating in any way. Most art is done in segments of time as the paint or printblock or media asks, or as the artist's schedule dictates.

    For me, cheating in art is only if the product is traced from another person's work and claimed as one's own.

  3. I don't think one of my sketches is complete without color. I like yours with color and I don't think adding it later is 'cheating.' Your sketching style is strong enough that it carries well without color, though. So, I guess it's up to you to decide!

  4. I don't think that adding color later is cheating at all - I also don't think that adding color is entirely necessary, even though most of what I post personally is in color - the brain tends to fill in what the colors are even if a drawing is in black and white. For myself I try to stick by drawing on site and coloring on site, only because I know that once I leave I won't have time to do it later with any accuracy (I wish I was blessed with a photographic memory like my kids!). Even so, there are times that I have added a little here and there at home, usually if whatever I have drawn is lacking definition and needs a little extra "oomph".

  5. I love the colour drawings/paintings you put up on this blog. And no, I don't think it's cheating to add colour later. You sketched it on the spot, and later you decided to add some colour.

    You inspire me to take out my sketchbook and draw random things while I'm out and about, even if those drawings aren't the greatest. Thanks for sharing your work with us!

  6. I was myself very purist as well, but as time runs, I realize that "Cheating" is not as bad...Beacause the whole fact of drawing is a complete "cheating" (if you want to call it like that), and we draw just to amuse and feel human, cheat is part of the game of draw, no? All the greatest cheated at their ways! ( no sé si me explico en inglés, es por respeto a los de arriba :-)

  7. I personally prefer to add colour on location, as it is more fun and spontaneous but it is certainly not cheating to add it later. Do you take a reference photo or colour from memory.
    As for colour vs b&w... mostly I prefer colour as so much of our experiences and memories of places and events involve colour.

  8. My goodness! Not cheating! And color to them if you wish. Sometimes color adds a great deal of charm, sometimes the sketches are every bit as much fun without color . . . so do as you wish. We will love them either way.
    Big thanks for being so generous in sharing what you are doing.

  9. Hola Gabi, soy crespo. Te importaría que enlazara tu blog en uno que estoy haciendo, justo sobre enlaces de blog de artistas?

    Sólo coloco los que más me gustan, y el tuyo es uno.

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  10. It's a great question! Even if I like much the drawings color, I find that the black and white are sufficed for them-even. To try all to say with same ink, to modulate the feature to say the heat, the cold; tended, slackness; the light, shade...

  11. A cor é bem vinda quando reforça a intenção do desenho. Se é colocada no sítio ou em casa é indiferente.

  12. thanks for all the responses! in my ideal world i still think i should color on the spot, but it's good to know that everyone here feels the color addition afterwards is a good thing and no cheating whatsoever, i also agree that black and white can be just as effective sometimes

  13. Hmmm, I think the experience of sketching is the important part and continuing a drawing or adding color later is part of the experience. Both situations forces you to look hard to recall a subject and the later edits I would make (i.e., adding color, darkening one area, highlighting another), to me, infuses it with creativity. Good discussion here!

  14. Well I love the way you USE color, but I like your black and white sketches as well. I certainly don't consider it cheating to add color later.

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