Wherever The Pencil Leads Us

A point of view on the artists creative process.


A sketch does not always have a definite destination. The initial spark of creativity that entices an artist to sketch, may seam to, yet the sketch will go through a process of forming to become its own unique image.

As the marks go down on paper the end results becomes more and more clear. It can be like unravelling a mystery. The initial idea may be so clear that we are fairly certain of the end results and yet the end result may surprise us. The truth is that as a sketch is formed, decisions have to be made about composition, shapes, expressions, proportions, contrast, texture and so on. There are constantly new variables that arise, demanding decisions to be made as the sketch develops. The art seams to talks to us because at the creation stage, the developing forms prefer this or that, to come about properly. It is all based on the inner workings of the artistic mind and the complex decisions that must be made. It all comes across as an inner dialog, because as the sketch is being formed, more questions arise as to what comes next and what goes where and why.

The pencil leads us along, as micro-inspirations arise within the singular concept. These micro-inspirations arise for various reasons. The imagery that is formed may demand certain forms or detail to support the image. There may be a certain energy that develops in the sketch that needs more angular strokes. The fact that a sketch has endless possibilities requires that the artist wrangle these thoughts into a cohesive image. Art is all about decisions, one small one after another.

Towards the end there has to be an inner Referee that defines when to stop, because you can always add more detail and like I said in my blog "Basic Sketch Book Advise For Artists", a sketchbook sketch should not become a highly detailed finished idea, at least in my opinion. It is there just to get the idea into a more cohesive state. If this is a final work of art, then yes, it must be taken further, but how much further?

At the end we stair at the final image to take it in. We discover were that initial concept took us. Bringing a sketch to life is amazing. It may even have a slightly different purpose than originally thought. It may even surprise us. Could be that we just went were the pencil lead us.

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