Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Choosing a Subject

I am not short of ideas of what to draw. I like to keep a running list of potential subjects with little sketches of poses next to them if I have one in mind. My list is currently running about two dozen for colored pencil and over 50 for charcoal/graphite. I like the colored pencil, but as I am inexperienced and it is much more time-consuming than charcoal, I hesitate to do many (although, how else will I improve?). I also want to make sure I have a really unique composition. For example, I think a scarlet macaw would make an awesome color subject. However, no unique striking pose comes to mind immediately. So I move on to the next.

My charcoal list is so long, though, and I have so many ideas that I sometimes find it difficult to decide what I want to do next. I started prioritizing my list, marking about five highest-priority items, five high-priority, and five medium-priority. But each time I cross one off the list, I either get excited about some brand new idea or totally change my mind about my classifications.

I like to look ahead to the next project. I've been working on these darn birds for two weeks now and can't wait to get back to charcoal. There's a lionness I've wanted to do for several weeks. But then I got a few votes for birds of prey in my poll, so I found a falcon I'd like to do. Since I'm working on birds now, I'll still be in bird-drawing mode. Then I bought some black paper and thought a black leopard in white charcoal would be fun. I wrote out my list, but then, just last night as I was falling asleep, the frilled lizard popped into my head. I got really excited about that one. So how do I choose? I want to do them all, but with so little time to draw each day, I can only focus on one at a time. So I have decided that I'm going to put my list out of my mind until I am just finishing a drawing. And for the next one, I'll choose whichever I feel like doing the most at that time. I've discovered that doing a drawing just because it's on my list only results in a poor drawing. I need to get excited about it to have it come out well.


The Flying Trilobite said...

I completely agree. There are too many ideas and not enough time.

And you really can't robotically go down a list, it has to be whichever one strikes you as the most exciting at the time.

Loving those lilac-breated rollers!

Heather M. Ward said...


I guess the good news with not having much time to draw is I won't run out of ideas for a while.