Habit is a funny thing. I always try to make it work for me but you never know. This week I was making it work for me in order to get some stuff done but it was a mystery as to why I couldn’t get things done before then. Or at least the drawings I got done this week. My large marker drawings. It was back in September that I made a bunch of my 20×28 inch marker drawings. By a bunch I mean four of them. Being that they each take a day to two to make that’s a bunch of time and the strange thing is that after I spend so much time on one thing I start to think it would be time better spent on some other thing. So it was about a two and a half week period in which I got those four drawing done and then I moved on. The odd thing is that between the beginning of October and now, the end of January, I wanted to do some more but couldn’t. It just didn’t happen and I don’t know why. It’s not like I was doing nothing. I was working on other types of art. But not the large marker drawings.

When I say that it takes a day or two to make one of these drawings that doesn’t count the time it takes to make the initial drawing. That can be fast or slow but it takes a little time. I have to dig through my sketch books, find a drawing I want to work with, and then draw it at a 6×9 or 9×12 inch size. After that is done I’m ready to make a big drawing. It was back in December I got it in my head to make some more large marker drawing and so made up a bunch of smaller drawings. About half a dozen 6×9 inch ones and one 9×12 inch one. Then they sat there. I’ll often work up more drawings than I’ll ever make into large 20×28 inch drawings because often all I fell like doing is making small drawings. I can work with a lot of images in a short amount of time. Sometimes all the ambition I have is to work on a small drawing.

This week I decided to make a large marker drawing. I grabbed the largest of my preliminary drawings, the 9×12 inch one named “Unboxing Truth”, and decided to go with that one. It was the most complex of the drawings featuring a large figure, two small figures, a large face, a big building like structure, and a few more smaller buildings. I thought it was a decent image and I especially liked the large female figure. I scanned in the drawing, blew it up to the size it was going to be, and then printed it out on four sheets of 11×17 inch paper that I taped together. I taped the over-sized print out onto my drawing paper and placed graphite paper in between then. Then I took a pencil and drew over the lines on the print out. This transfers the line to the drawing paper by way of graphite. It makes for a crude drawing on the large paper but that’s all I need to get started.

This one was a long one. Over the next two days I used my markers, straight edges, and various curves and templates to make my drawing. I wan’t happy with it most of the time. Whenever I make one of these large drawings I always add things that weren’t in the preliminary drawing. Since the final drawing is so much bigger then the preliminary one there is a lot of room to add things and I do. Scale changes a drawing and I have to change along with it. Still, even after adding things I still wasn’t thrilled with it. I managed to make it better and find some textures that pulled it all together for me but in the end I was still a bit dissatisfied.

In the end I decided it wasn’t the drawing that I didn’t like but it was the fact that I wanted to do a different drawing. I wanted something in a bigger scale and less illustrative and even more graphic. After figuring that out I went to bed. The next day I woke up and got a couple of things done for that day that needed doing. I did all of them and then just before lunch was contemplating what to do with the rest of my day. I decided to make another marker drawing but this time with an image that I wanted to work with. I grabbed my 6×9 inch drawings and liked the one called “Grand Facade”. It was what I was looking for. A large and very black and white graphically drawn. I scanned it in and printed it out (with some annoying trouble from my inkjet printer that day) and transferred it over to my large sheet of paper.

I have to say I enjoyed working on “Grand Facade” much more than “Unboxing Truth”. So much so that I just kept working on it hour after hour until I finished it that night. I couldn’t stop. I didn’t stay up late or anything. That’s not my habit. But I did work on it from about 11 AM until about 9 PM with few breaks. I don’t usually like to work that much especially coming off quite a few long days in a row but I was on such a roll that I kept going. It was the drawing I wanted to be doing for the last two days squeezed into today. In the end I really liked the drawing. And it even made me like the first drawing better.

I paid a price for it though. The next day I was exhausted. I could barely move or get anything done. I was in a miserable state. I absolutely hate getting that way and therefor usually pace myself but I’m also not often on a roll such as I was the day before. It was fun. I got it done. But I still don’t know why it took me from the beginning of October to the end of January to get a large marker drawing going. Habits are weird.