This week I have another one of those “Things always take longer than I think they will” tales. Or maybe it’s that this one just got away from me. Y’see, a little while ago I made a large 20×28 inch drawing in about fifteen minutes. I wanted to make a video of me making a large spontaneous drawing and so I did. I made it in the time limit too. (Scroll to the bottom to see it). It wasn’t my greatest drawing ever but I thought I did a good job with the whole thing. Then I got the idea to do another spontaneous large drawing the same size but in about an hour. The one thing I saw holding me back was the size of the markers I had to work with.

For the fifteen minute drawing I used my Copic extra wide marker plus my regular chisel tip Copic marker. Though the extra wide marker was pretty big I had a bit of trouble drawing with it. That’s because it’s big but narrow. I found that to be a clumsy combination to draw with and when it became too much of a problem I switched over to my chisel tip one but that was a bit small for the job. So I’ve been looking in my art catalogues at some larger markers but I haven’t had the chance to buy any yet. I wanted to get a second hour long spontaneous drawing going so I decided to try and do one with just the chisel tip marker. Sure it was a little small but so what? Full steam ahead. Or at least that’s what I convinced myself of after about two weeks of mulling things over in the back of my mind.

So one morning I decided to do the drawing. I had some time to draw that day but not a lot of ambition so I figured that an hour drawing wouldn’t be too hard to get done. Instead of my Copic chisel tip marker I decided to use my Shin Han chisel tip marker but they’re basically the same. Six hours later I finally finished the drawing. Boy did I underestimate things. The main problem was that I really didn’t understand how using the smaller marker on the larger paper would change my whole approach to the drawing.

When I made the earlier drawing with the extra wide marker I automatically made the image I was drawing in scale with the marker. I had a big marker so I drew a big face. That makes perfect sense. But now I had a smaller marker and so I drew a smaller face. The piece of paper I was drawing on was still big though and I would have to fill it up. I knew I was in trouble when the first figure I drew, the man in the upper middle with the triangle shirt on, took me fifteen minutes to draw and that was about as big as I could draw with the marker I was using. That was a quarter of my allotted time on about a tenth of the drawing. Whoops! So I hunkered down and drew. For most of that previously unambitious day.

In the end I like the way it came out. I’ve made drawings like this where I fill up every bit of negative space before but not this large. And certainly not this large in ink. Usually with something like this I’ll make a small five by eight inch drawing in ink and then blow that drawing up to about ten by fifteen inches and redraw it in pencil and then ink it. Not this time. This time it was strait to ink on a large scale and no fixing anything.

The first thing I notice about this drawing is that I have no idea where to look first. It’s busy. There is no composition as I’m used to doing it. I don’t get to move the viewer’s eye around the piece as I am used to doing. Here it’s chaos with only a slight skin of order. There is no easy way into this drawing. No place for the eye to settle so you just have to start looking and see what you can see. Usually with these writing pieces I explore the order the eye moves in as demanded by the composition be here I have to just start.

I think my favorite part of this whole drawing is the robot guy on the bottom left. Not the big head in the corner but the one with two antenna on the top of his head and his arm bent in an almost dancing pose. He amuses me the most. The background behind him gives him a halo too so he’s almost holy. A holy robot. I like that.

The one eyed face in the bottom left is kind of creepy. I hadn’t noticed him before. He’s staring at us through some sort of structure that looks half like hair and half like some stone castle window. Whatever he’s got going on I don’t trust him.

I posted a photo of this drawing on Facebook and one of my friends said that the face in the upper right corner looked like me. I can understand that. The guy has a big chin and so do I. Plus artists usually can’t help but draw faces that look like their own on occasion. Our own faces are the ones we know best and so tend to copy them. Interestingly that face was also the last part of the drawing that I worked on. I started it early on but didn’t put in those radiating lines until last. It was mostly blank and therefor ended up being the whitest part of the whole drawing. It stood out and not in a good way. So I found a way to tone it down. I like it much better now.

A man with a tea cup face on his bottom half, a woman with tentacles for her bottom half, strange masked people, and over three dozen faces staring out at us. I could go on and on but there is too much stuff. That’s what this drawing is all about. Too much to look at so you have to look hard. Turns out that takes a long while to draw.