Saturday, November 2, 2013

On Paper

I've been drawing pretty much my whole life.  I love it.  I always have.

I love the physical feeling of drawing: the pencil in my hand, the movement of arm and wrist, and the pressure of the graphite tip against the surface of the paper.  I love the energy and life of the sketched line and the crisp, clean look of the inked one.   I love the feel of the tooth of the paper between my fingertips and the smell of freshly-sharpened pencils (which still smells like school, even decades after I've been out of short pants).

But there was this other reason I started drawing in the first place.  And it's the same reason I keep drawing and will (hopefully) do so until someone pats me on the face with a shovel:

I remember being a little kid and seeing the work of amazing illustrators like Rien Poortvliet and Chris Van Allsburg.  I was enthralled and gobsmacked that a person could imagine a complete world and then create that world on paper.  When I read those books, I wasn't just looking at a drawing on paper.  I was IN the world they had created.  Their drawings were a gateway to these crazy, limitless environments of imagination.  I could stand there and watch Noah's ark being built plank by plank, walk through the garden of Abdul Gasazi or visit the town of Chewandswallow.   I was hooked.  And inspired.  And I pretty much knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

All these years later, I'm still basically a little kid excited about drawing.  I feel pretty lucky that I get to have this much fun drawing "Saturday".  And who knows if this book will ever have the impact on anyone that those books had on me as a kid.  But it would be nice to return the favor.  Or, more appropriately I guess, pay it forward.

These panels are from page 27.  It won't be long before my posts on this site catch up with my current progress (I'm working on page 31 right now).  When that happens, I guess you'll just have to be patient.


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