August 14, 2011

embarrassing sketches

sulking cats

OK, so I've just finished an illustration on a slightly bigger paper format (50cm * 70cm) and now I'm stuck. It happens so often, I might have to come up with a name for that condition... Stuckitis… What-now-itis… I'm not sure is it because "I could never do it again", or is it because I'm too self-criticizing and I don't like the drawing I've finished...

Well, I don't think it's either one. Most of the time, I have SO many new ideas that I simply can't pick one. I can't focus, so they're all in my head... all at once... buzzing and flapping and whizzing...

Ideas are like smells, they're there, I can feel them, I know them quite intimately, they're packed with sensations and motion, but when I start sketching, they become unreachable. I want to put them all on paper, and sketches always turn out to be beyond disappointing.

I'm a terrible starter.

couch potato
No, let me rephrase that! I'm great at starting at least ten things at once, and then not doing any of them... which is a shame. The best part… what I like most about drawing… is the bit after I'd started something, and passed that second phase. If I get that far, I land in some amazing space where's no time, or thoughts... I become my pencils and paints, and that feeling is the reason why I draw at all.

I hate all my drawings, but I love making them!

Sketches are my biggest embarrassment. I used to love sketching, but now… uh… I cringe when I see unrefined lines, bad proportions, somewhat incorrect perspective… I need to feel that I’m in control, so I start fixing my sketches, and keep fixing them till they stop being sketches.

Anyway… this time I present you a few pages from my poor little moleskine. They will stay as they are. Paper is too thin, it simply wouldn’t survive my “corrections”.


  1. Boy, can I relate! I finally came to the conclusion that sketches are not for me. Now I just do thumbnail sketches and then translate them to line drawings for my beginning. I can't seem to complete anything in a journal. For me, it has to be on wood to get completed. I really enjoy your art. Thanks for sending me your blog link!

  2. I understand the need to be in control, believe me, I do. But maybe you could try a parallel line of work, where your sketches and paintings do what 'they' need. Just let go and do any old thing, even if it's ugly and it ends up in the paper bin :) You learn a lot this way and you may end up discovering new paths to follow in your creative work.

  3. @Sunny
    thumbnail sketches seems to be the best solution for me too... just to organise space, see how it works, and done!
    the problem is: my sketches annoy me, looking at them makes me aware of how bad I am, but I understand that the stream of thought is best explored with quick sketching... I'll try to push myself a bit more.

    Thank you for commenting :)