It struck me this week that I should write about a single page in my ink-book. That’s what I call my sketchbook since I don’t really sketch in it but draw in ink spontaneously. I draw without initially having an idea of what I’m gonna draw and just start putting lines down and then I make things out of those lines. Well, first I draw a little box and then I draw inside the box. But this isn’t so much about how I made the page but what I see when I look at it as it relates to how I might uses the drawings.

This page is number forty from this year’s ink-book. I drew it on 5/15/2013. There are nine boxes on this page. Sometimes I draw seven boxes, sometimes eight, sometimes nine. I’ve drawn fewer boxes than that on a page too but these days it seems to be one of those three numbers.

Box 1 – This is one of my basic portrait type drawings. A face and upper body of a person. He’s got some crazy stringy hair and is wearing a decorated outfit. This is the type of drawing I’d pick out and turn into a 5×7 inch marker or gouache drawing. I like to do small decorative portrait like stuff at that size. I could also go a little bit bigger and make it into a painting along the lines of an old religious icon painting.

Box 2 – A weird and vague figure drawing. This one is mostly using the human figure as a design element within a geometric structure. I like using geometric shapes in my art and that is what this one is all about. It exists in a very shallow and modernist space. Though I like this little drawing I’d have to do a lot of work to turn it into something finished.

Box 3 – This one almost exists in a landscape but not quite. I’ve made some drawings similar to this theme. A small figure paired with a monumental figure in a landscape. It’s a weird little niche of mine that I like to use every now and then but this particular little drawing doesn’t do it for me. The large figure is a bit obscure and confusing and the landscape is almost not there. Once again this is one that would take a lot of work. But they are only small sketches to begin with.

Box 4 – This is another fairly common theme of mine. A close up on a cropped face with a second figure behind. The face is fairly standard but that figure is pretty darned whimsical. I’m not quite sure what it is. Are those four arms or a cape? And his head is glowing or some such. This drawing intrigues me. That might be enough to make me try and turn it into something. I’d have to add more height to it though.

Box 5 – Weird little creature and a fancy background. I like the designs in this one and think I could turn it into a finished piece easier than most. That his arms and legs are hidden under some sort of cloak makes for a tighter design. That could be good or bad but with all the crazy stuff going on in the background I think it’s good.

Box 6 – One of my weird faces. I like drawing crazy faces. I use them for drawings, paintings, and prints. I could easily make this one into something. Sometimes I draw faces and make them into large finished ink drawings that may or may not be used in another piece. I can never have enough weird face drawings.

Box 7 – This one is more of a half figure than a portrait. It’s okay. Mildly interesting. I like the face with the spikes coming out of the chin and the horns around the head. I could work with that collar and chest piece too but the shirt and arms have nothing going on in them. They’re blanks that I’d have to start from scratch with. Overall the top half is good and the bottom half is, eh.

Box 8 – This one is reminiscent of box two except now with a full figure and a little more of a landscape background. The pointy-footed posed doesn’t do much for me so I’d have to find a way to make it work. Or maybe it’s the hips that I don’t like. It’s hard to tell. And the design elements aren’t as strong as in boxes two and five. This might be the weakest one on the page. I’m guessing it’s destined to never be made into anything but you never know.

Box 9 – The final one is really weird. I didn’t notice until I gave it a second look that it’s a giant head/mask on top of a woman’s waist and hips. In glancing at it I didn’t like it but now it’s growing on me. There might be an idea there. I’m not sure exactly what and I think she’ll need some arms but maybe this will at least spark something.

So that’s my process. This page is from book fourteen. I fill up one of these 5.5 x 8.5 times a hundred page sketchbooks a year with drawings. When the calendar turns to January I’ll be starting a new one. It takes from an hour to a hour and a half to draw one of these pages. So that means I get about eight pages a month drawn. That takes a bit of doing. Sometimes they come easy and sometimes not but in the end I have to do them either way. That way when I want to find something to draw I can grab one of my sketchbooks off my shelf and look through them for something that catches my eye. Just like I looked at this page. It’s weird too because sometimes I realize I must have had a really good day in the past because I’ll use three or four drawings from a single page while the pages around it have yielded nothing. Easy or hard it’s a method that works well for me.

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