Literally drawing literacy: Announcing the Sketch Gallery

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I’m learning something and you’re invited to watch. Here’s the story:

The pen is a mighty instrument indeed. Throughout the ages, it has spawned words, music, policy, hypotheses, formulae and all manner of thought and reflection. So much can be done with this simple implement whose primary function is to transfer ink to a blank page. Imagine the works that the same pen would etch in the hands of a child, a scientist, a poet, a UN representative, or a mechanic.

I’ve always been captivated by artists for whom the pen is no mere writing implement but a bridge to a beautiful paradox where a few simple lines come alive as fantastic three-dimensional worlds and images within a two-dimensional page. There are plenty of examples out there where even the humble ballpoint pen, forgotten for its ubiquitousness, has been used to create photo-realistic portraits of people, animals, and landscapes that may or may not exist.

In an effort to move the needle from “I’ve always wanted to draw like that” to “I’m learning to draw like that”, I’ve begun to take advantage of the countless resources out there to learn the craft. Armed with a pencil, a 20-cent pen, and said countless resources (<cough>YouTube<cough>), I’ve been assaulting pages and margins with lines, shades, and shapes with fervor. And I’ve decided to go public with it here in keeping with the intent of this blog.

Below, you can see a gallery of some of the drawings I’ve produced along the way so far. Some are originals, others are practice exercises, and many others are reproductions of a reference image or were drawn alongside a guided tutorial. Click on each image for it’s back-story and a link to any resources used in the process where applicable if you would like to join me in the practice. I plan to use some future drawings as cover-art for upcoming posts. As new drawings are made (I’ve been drawing a lot lately, so I’m hoping to add a new one weekly), they will be added to the gallery which will be permanently stored on the Sketch Gallery page of this blog. Some new drawings will be announced via blog post, others will quietly sneak into the gallery on their own.

Lasting learning doesn’t take place in a vacuum. The student needs an active feedback community of mentors to teach, guide, encourage, or simply observe. For whichever of those elements you are able to provide, I am grateful.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” – Proverbs 27:17

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