Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Really drawing now

Ensconced at 1 Intelligence Unit in Kimberley, in the course of our officer's course, as it were, we were still expected to stand guard regularly. Many more sketches were done during this tedious pastime. Now, for the first time since conscription began about five months earlier, I find I have drawings done on plain white paper, albeit from some cheap notebook, as opposed to the lined variety of before. And I think the drawing quality is improving all the time.

Liberated by the lack of ruled blue lines, finally my own lines are allowed to sing alone, and I think they show some interesting improvements on previous efforts. This is late 1979, some four years after I first started learning to draw. At last, I believe, all the years of struggle are starting to bear fruit. I like the way the drawing does not seek to show an exact likeness of the oke reading a book in the guard room, but rather exists purely as a work of art in its own right.

The linework here, I would humbly suggest, is a synthesis of many of the lessons I underwent while at art school, and subsequently honed in, of all places, the army. I particularly like the hand, which shows the sort of line quality noted earlier on this blog, which comes of drawing while not looking down at the paper for more than is absolutely necessary.

While the line quality is perhaps not as good, I think this one captures something of the forlorn nature of standing guard, where a night is spent in a sort of limbo of semi-sleep.

Early in the evening, before 10pm I think it was, we could sit and watch the television in the guard room churning out the SABC's diet of mediocre entertainment (there were rare exceptions) and propaganda. I like the array of profiles here, achieved with a few lines.

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