Sunday, 31 March 2013

Pencil Jammers

There is a story of a snail that had fallen into a deep pit trying to climb out. It needed to climb thirty feet to get to safety. Every day it would manage to slowly crawl 3 feet up, but during the night it would slither most of the way back. My condition seems to be somewhat like this snail's in my attempts to improve my sketching and drawing skills.

Although my desire has been very strong ever since it was rekindled about a dozen years ago, every year I go through many months when I do not find the time or energy to draw. I have tried many different ploys to ensure that I do not slide backwards during these periods but so far they have only helped to a limited extent. My attempts to do at least one lunch time sketch every day worked only for a while.

However, around the middle of September last year I received an invitation from Ganapathy Subramaniam (GS), whom I had met online at WetCanvas, to join him on Pencil Jammers. Unlike many other art communities on the net PJ encourages its members to meet and sketch, draw, & paint together on location and in workshops (which members are free to organise on their own). In Chennai and Bangalore interested members meet every Sunday to sketch on location at various venues and then post their work in appropriate threads on the Pencil Jammers website.

As a result, from mid-September 2012 onwards, until a couple of months ago, I have been fairly regular at these Sunday morning sketching meets. I have been busy through the rest of the week and found no time to draw, but at each of these sessions I have tried to do one main sketch of about 90 minutes duration and a couple of quick sketches in about 30 minutes each at each venue. In this post I am sharing some of the sketches from the first two meets that I attended. Most parts of these sketches were completed on location, but I worked a bit more on each of them at home, mainly to add to the shading, and to darken some of the values through cross hatching

Cholamandal, is an artists' village in Chennai. I had been there many times to look at artwork and to attend films on art based topics, but for my friends in Pencil Jammers this was their first time there and they were charmed by the ambience of the place. As a result our group has visited the place several times since then.

I had been to the Children's Park almost forty years ago and had thought that it was a very drab place. I was very pleasantly surprised at how much it had developed since then and with its current popularity. Our group got there at around 9 am but within a couple of hours the place was quite crowded with visitors. I have discovered that I do not mind being watched while I draw, but that is not the case with many others and some of my companions decided that it was time to quit the place..