Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Drawing furiously

This is my art form. I draw from life. And I did it with alacrity while doing two years' compulsory military service in the early 1980s. Herewith, another batch of those drawings, mainly done in the barracks, or bungalows, which I shared with hordes of other consripts.

Each picture, no matter how quick the sketch, has a specific, defining character of pose. This guy's straw-like hair tops off an economical technique.

This, I suspect, is again my mate of the time, Alan McIntyre. Note the feet just suggested, resting on something in the distance.

Who was this guy again? Another young Durbanite, I even went with him and a few mates to stay in his mom's flat. A divorcee, she got remarried that weekend in a humid Durban in February.

There is an unintended, probably, anger about this guy. Note the stretch of foreground leg.

Sammajoor. That's how Sergeant-Major sounds in Afrikaans. This was our RSM Blignaut, "die baas van die plaas". His favourite saying was: "The major mustn't f..k me around he must buy me a round."

I remember this oke as Koert. A likeable fellow, he always had a smile and seemed to relax with his legs in the oddest places.

Sometimes the sketches are so quick just the essence of the subject is captured.

I rather like this group of several severe right-looking faces.

One page of images can have a specific drawing style. Here I sort of zigzagged a bit, especially in the hair of the oke eating something on the left.

Solly Selkirk? Was his first name Solly, or was it his nickname? No matter, again his thin, wiry body lent itself to being drawn.

Koert, the oke with the legs he didn't know what to do with.

Not many ous realised I was sketching them, but this one seemed to have caught on - and not been amused.

A minimalist approach obtains here, with a smattering of dashes doing the job.

More juxtapositioning of disparate images.

That oke Koert again, this time reading.

Sometimes setting the image not quite centrally has a positive effect. While this guy looks out of the page, had the drawing been completed, more of his back would have been shown.

Foreshortening is an essential part of drawing. Though the feet here are merely suggested, they do create a sense of depth.

That density of humanity, especially in our first 100-plus hangar-bungalow, is evident in this grouping of bodies in the heat of a Kimberley summer.

Mr McIntyre again, done in a few zigzaggy lines.

I rather enjoy the shading on this oke's back. Again, a foreground figure creates depth.

Three characters captured in a minimum of lines. Glasses and a moustache add so much.

One small face on a large page. I can picture this young guy, though he's 30 years older now.

One of the Durban okes in the media centre where I spent most of my time. He had a hip Bowie-like hairstyle, despite the army.

The beret adds to the lengthening of this oke's face.

The ever-smiling Koert.

A successful page, with three or four (two may be of the same oke) of my media centre colleagues captured in pencil.

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