Lounging In Lockdown…Book Is Done (Day 55)

I am Lounging In Lockdown, because I handed in my latest book for publication the other day. Yes, I know I have mentioned this before now but I am going to milk it for a while longer! My dear husband Marcel came home with a bottle of Blanc de Blancs. “My mother loved this,” he said. We drank it from the crystal glasses we have that are the same as the ones we gave her for Christmas a couple of years ago. Then I supposed I would have to paint it all…I was a bit daunted by the glasses, but I reminded myself that if I am always teaching good observation then it would be a fine how-d’ye-do if I wasn’t able to do likewise. And it was fun.

A few people have pre-ordered my new book already – the sketching community doesn’t hang around! – and I hope they like it when it arrives in the mail in seven months’ time. I believe that inspiration is at LEAST 50% of the battle to be the best artist you can be, so I have tried to show you moments that will make you long to grab your sketching stuff and dive in. I have tried to balance practical, simple instruction with beautiful and touching moments captured in sketches – which, by the way, are mostly of my loved ones, since that’s who I get to draw most of all.

You’re going to find out how to decide who will make a good subject; how to judge whether they’ll stick around…and then how to capture them on paper. Here’s a favourite tip: say you’re looking at a guy sitting down, looking at his phone. You aren’t sure of your proportions. You know, or have read somewhere, that a man is 7 heads high – or is it 8? – but you can only see his torso and head, so you can’t measure him properly. My trick is to go ahead and use his head as a unit anyway – but instead of just using it to measure height, use it to measure width too. He might have a chest that’s two heads long and one head wide…or whatever. In other words, use the head as a unit of measurement and fit it into his body by eye.

It’s a technique I use for everything. Everything I draw is measured by eye according to the size of the thing beside it that I have just drawn. Once you get used to this technique you will use it without thinking, and you will never need to remember any rules of perspective either, because you’re just comparing shapes. (I wish I knew this trick years ago.)

So I am a lady of leisure…for now. I have two Zoom classes up and running with a third on the way. There’s still room in Saturday’s class (4pm-6pm IST, which is 11-1pm EDT I think) and also in Wednesday’s (5pm-7pm IST). You get one class free if you buy a block of six (six classes for the price of five). If there’s still room, you can of course attend one class at a time. Just put “zoom” into the search bar in my website.

So Lounging in Lockdown is great and so is teaching art. The book, by the way, is in the Urban Sketcher’s Handbook series and is called Drawing Expressive People. And guess what – you can pre-order it!

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