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Monday, March 16, 2009

Everyone's a Sprinter

Rabbit Study   pencil/conte crayon   10 x 13
My sons' high school track coach used to say, "Yeh, everyone's a sprinter". What he meant by that is that given the choice, most track athletes consider themselves to be sprinters, which involves training, yes, but is often the by-product of quick-genes. A very short race....then it's over. A minority of runners want to subject themselves to the torturous training and energy output of distance running. It's hard, time-consuming and is commanded by self-discipline. I feel the same about drawing. It seems that most student artists want to paint, and just forego the discipline that drawing provides. Most of the problems I see in watercolor paintings are actually the underlying drawing errors. Many years ago, I knew I was going to be called upon to paint rabbits. Besides, I love rabbits. I took a trip to the pet store at the mall to shoot photos as reference material as I had none, and the wild rabbits in my yard just wouldn't hold still. (I got the permission of the manager first). "Rabbit Study" was an arduous pencil study that took a week but it was invaluable for subsequent paintings. I will admit that I am guilty as the next person of not fully preparing for a painting by studies. Let that be a lesson to me.