In short slurps three ways
My almost daily sketchbook habit subject matter content is sourced from three things: my life, my self-generated photo references and my imagination. Let me explain by starting at the end…here's what I ended up with in my sketchbook this week.
The above sketchbook page actually began the day of my birthday last week when we went out to eat on the outdoor patio at Justa Pasta in Portland Oregon. https://www.justapasta.com/
When our meal came I focused on the moment using my 5 senses: looking at the food, inhaling the smell of the spices before tasting everything. I also let my mind free-associate on the maze of the QR code that accesses the menu and the maze of pasta strands in my bowl. (Where does one strand begin or end? How to follow it with a fork?) Before tasting too much I snapped this photo reference.
I draw in my sketchbook during breakfast so I often work on one page of my sketchbook in short bursts over a few days. That's the way I did this pasta painting too
One breakfast I took a watercolor pencil, looked at my photo reference and drew. Then I did some watercolor/ gouache color areas and left the sketchbook open to dry as I went on with my day.
During a second days breakfast I painted the shadows in a dark grey-blue color. While the paint dried I actually ate my breakfast. After eating I had another cup of coffee and used my new birthday fountain pen to draw details.
During a third days breakfast I used watercolors and gouache to paint still more details within the color areas. As I painted I carefully left the top corner of my sketchbook blank so I could write something there with my fountain pen when the artwork was finished and I was certain of the amount of space in which to write. The paint dried while I actually ate breakfast. After refreshing my coffee cup I used color pencils and emphasized the maze quality of the pasta. Which had tasted a-mazing!!
So now you see how I worked from my life and my photo reference… my imagination came in when, during birthday dinner, I free-associated the QR code and pasta plates with maze games. Imagination also enabled me to artistically “edit” my original photo reference. For example I left out the water glasses and tried to put emphasis on my maze thought as I drew and painted. I also adjusted the colors I had perceived in real life to reflect in my sketchbook my feelings and food flavor impressions.
In this fashion I got to enjoy my birthday dinner in multiple sensory ways over multiple days. It was fun to wake up and start my days in this less stressful way.
I hope you have some a-mazing food this week, draw or paint about it and have some good moments.
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Thanks for sharing your process. And the ubiquitous QR code which I never thought of as a maze until now.
So, we writers needn't feel so bad about the sh*tty first draft phenomenon. :)