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can I just say something?

April 5, 2009 at 11:09 pm

I love drawing.

plant sale sketch

I haven’t been drawing for a while, so it’s nice to get back into it by working on lots of letters… (they offer really nice parameters, both to fit within and to break out of.)

plant sale sketch 2

I also love erasing things, then drawing them again and modifying them. I also love changing things by tracing them. With every change, the drawn line becomes richer and more complex. [note the shifting “Y” — looking back at these photos, I’m kind of tempted to go back to a curvy one…] Below, using tracing paper, I’m moving the letters closer together, and spacing the lines farther apart vertically, for what I hope will be increased legibility.

plant sale sketch 3

My housemate says that this kind of thing would be easier with a computer; I’m pretty sure it would take the same amount of time, just require a different kind of patience, a different method for the modification of lines…

plant sale sketch 4

Above, the little golden-section rectangle is giving me a set of dimensions that are proportional to each other, which I’m using as the letter-heights and vertical spacing for the text in this little group. This is super fast & loose, and in this case, is mostly based on “what looks right” as opposed to any rigorous proportional analysis of the rectangle of the poster. I tried to find some good geometries to use in the overall layout… but the placement of things by eye looked better than placing the elements by geometry, so that’s what I went with.

Here’s one stage of the semi-finished sketch for the top of the poster, from a couple of days ago:

plant sale sketch 5

… and the middle of the poster, from that same stage:

plant sale sketch 6

The next update will show the bottom of the poster and its development…

Oh yeah — did I forget to say that I love drawing?

Southside Community Land Trust is a great organization that supports and helps organize community gardens all over the city. I’m excited to be making this poster, partly because SCLT is radical (in the multiple senses of the word), and partly because I’m following in the awesome footsteps of Jo Dery, who has made the SCLT plant sale posters for as long as I can remember.


  1. I love your description of erasing and remaking and the new line and change, I’d like my drawing students to think more like you!! It is so hard some nights when they are whining about drawing for three hours in studio, when I would kill for the same opportunity, some days I just want to stab them in the eye with their pencils!!! It’s funny but until I get a pencil in my hand I forget how much I love drawing…

    Comment by deb — April 7, 2009 @ 9:06 pm
  2. I remember a moment in middle school, when I realized that something in a drawing I was making looked “wrong” — I think the people were out of proportion to each other. I didn’t want to erase anything to fix it, because I felt that I would never be able to get the things that were “right” about the drawing right again! then at some point later, I noticed that this feeling had shifted, and that I felt that I would be able to re-make, and make better, anything that I erased. I am not sure how that transition happened. Now I am still working on not being precious with drawings, but also: not striving after perfection, letting things stay “wrong” and not erasing them… even harder!

    and yeah, whenever I am approaching making a drawing it is very scary and mentally intimidating… but once I pick up the pencil and start making marks, it becomes very exciting and I am totally captivated…

    Comment by jean — April 7, 2009 @ 10:22 pm
  3. I love that you draw. sometimes i think you know magic.

    Comment by Sarah L Reiter — April 9, 2009 @ 12:14 am

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