So I got it in my head this morning to write about one of my ink book page drawings immediately after I drew it. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. For those of you not in the know my ink book drawings are the basis for a lot of my other work. I grab my 5.5×8.5 inch spiral bound sketch book and a black marker, usually a Pentel Sign Pen, and start doing some surrealist automatic drawing. That’s the name for a type of drawing where you don’t think about what you are going to draw but instead just start making marks on the paper and see what comes out of the strange crevices of your mind. I also like to define the borders of my drawings first so I make little boxes on the paper and then draw in them. I also work from the top left of the page, then across, then down a row to the middle and across, and finally the bottom row.

If you look at the first picture I drew you can see a line that splits the drawing in half with an oval in the middle of it that forms the man’s chin. I draw this line with a U in the middle of it all the time. I have no idea why but it often comes out of my pen. You can see a similar line in the last drawing except the U is on the top. I often struggle to find something to do with this shape but here I made it into a face with a bit of a positive/negative face and vase thing going on.

The second drawing is of a figure that’s almost one of my usual triangular “Mod Man” figures. But instead of the triangle of the torso being continued down to his feet I lifted his legs off at the hips and moved them out into space. I do this sometimes to get a get a better gesture out of the legs. It doesn’t make sense on an anatomical level but it’s a drawing thing. And there is that line with a U in it shape above his head!

Picture number three is a single eyed half masked man with a body made up of odd little bits. Any resemblance to actual anatomy is strictly coincidental.

With drawing number four we get to one of my more landscape flavored drawings. As I was drawing this I wanted a bit more of a feeling of deep space rather than my usual use of flat modern space. I ended up with something that doesn’t really make sense on a literal level. It ends up looking like a Steve Ditko type of magical dimension. There are a couple of different horizon lines and two figures that are not in scale to each other. I often work with out of scale figures but if I was ever to make this into a larger drawing I’d have to figure out the space.

Drawing number five makes a nice bullseye in the center of the page. I wonder if it’s placement in the center influenced it’s composition? I like this face. I like that the face turns into the hair and some sort of piece of machinery. It’s one of those things that works in a small sketch but as I look at it wonder how I could make it into a finished drawing. That’s always a problem when looking for a sketch to make into something finished. Just what I like about the sketch, the head/hair/machine, won’t necessarily make sense at a larger size and in color. The last things I added to this drawing are the white circles in the background. That’s a motif I use every so often and it works here.

Drawing six started out as a distinctly female figure but morphed into this androgynous drawing when I put the eyes on her chest. I was also playing with some deeper space on this one as I created some strange but simple shapes in the background. Other than that this is another body made of of simple shapes. And big ears.

And then I went out for a bike ride and spent a while dealing with some mundane paying work. It wasn’t until a couple of hours later that I started to draw again and made drawing number seven. And I think that shows. It’s a real oddball of a drawing. I’m not sure exactly what it is. It looks most to me like a body/torso but the head runs off the top of the page and we only see a neck. Then the turtleneck of the shirt has a face on it with a couple of ears too. And then there is an eye on the front of the shirt where the chest is. Or it could be something else. It’s a weird and unsure one.

Drawing number eight is straightforward and a little dull. A long necked figure stand in front while a small full figure stands atop something in the back. This one is a little too well defined for me. Everything is clearly what it is and in the right place. You’d think that was a good thing and often it is but here it’s not working. I don’t know why. But I also think that on a good day I could take this drawing’ blow it up, and redraw it into something interesting. The basics are there but the intangibles aren’t.

The final drawing has a lot of ancient civilization art and architecture in it. That’s what all those little shapes and lines are. With the eyes down the bottom maybe it’s a closeup of an ancient Maya king with his crown on or maybe it’s a wall carving on some pyramid some where. I’m not sure. It could be a dog with sneaky eyes. Anyway you cut it up I like the extreme closeup nature of the drawing. I hadn’t done that yet on this page and one of the things I try to make these ink book drawings about is variety.

So there it is. All while it was fresh in my mind. Now I have to go back and do some more boring work. Oh, well…