Sunday, June 6, 2010

Self Portrait Marblehead Kettle

I discovered a few years ago that I can usually get an additional drawing done on vacations if I set it up somewhere so I can sit for even five minutes at a time and keep making progress. This makes me happy and it fills in all sorts of little waits and odds-n-ends of time.

This trip, to Marblehead, MA and Boston, I decided to combine a little self portrait with a rendering of an object that I found in the kitchen of our rented house. I love these round kettles - but we don't own one.

I can see one significant error in the drawing (maybe you can find it, too) but I'm happy with it anyway. I enjoy looking this closely at things (only a detailed rendering gets me this far into an object's shape and lighting), and I'm particularly pleased with the handle. The photo is a good bit darker and higher in contrast than the real thing was when I sat to draw, usually with good light in the little sun porch I set up as a studio.

12 x 14 inch sketch book - rendered with an HB pencil. Click either image for a closer look.

10 comments:

Lisa said...

That is so cool. And clever!

MLight said...

No mention of those three characters to the left?

Pagan Sphinx said...

Fantastic! You are amazing. What a unique choice of subject for this style of drawing. Just perfect.

And, no, I could not find the "significant" error.

Steve Emery said...

Lisa and Pagan - Thanks!

MLight - That will be another post, dearest.

怡迪怡迪 said...
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susan said...

I'm quite amazed at your skill in drawing elements of our objective world and that's the truth. Whether it's houses, entire streets or just something ordinary and relatively small - like a kettle - the way you render their wholeness is remarkable. I've stared for 10 minutes comparing the drawing to the photograph and can find no significant in the drawing. I even expanded it and then magnified to see if perhaps your right hand had the correct number of fingers but was able to count all four and see you thumb resting on your index finger. If it's a significant mistake then all I can conclude is that it added to the overall reality of the picture.

linda said...

so sorry steve, to be absent and missing this...my life is not cooperating..

i felt like it was backwards somehow but maybe it's my perspective...i wish i could draw that way...i have no patience for it but should do it anyway..are you going to divulge the giant mistake?

Odd Chick said...

The perfection in your drawings blow me away but you did set up a challenge when you added that you had made a mistake. WHERE??? but I knew I could learn something if I could also find it. I think it's the shadow at the bottom of the spout??

the GyPsY said...

This is great, I like the idea and the sketch. I think maybe the left side of the kettle comes out a touch too much .. is that what you're talking about? It's great anyway.

Steve Emery said...

Thanks, everyone for the comments.

OK - I will now share the mistake... The pad I am working on, which is reflected in the kettle, is too flat in the drawing (the bottom edge). This interferes with the correct curve of the kettle in the drawing. It's apparently not glaring to anyone else, but if you compare the drawing and photo, maybe you can see it now, too. The error is a clear case of drawing what you know ("the pad is flat") instead of what is actually in front of your eyes. Left brain instead of right brain drawing. A drawing done over a long period has the risk of the left brain being involved at some point, and messing up something. Though it's also sometimes an opportunity to catch those mistakes, and fix them before continuing...