November 12, 2012 at 3:52 PM
Sketching field notes: Drawing and listening
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The young war veterans I wrote about in my last post were very gracious about being drawn and sharing their stories. While every sketching experience is memorable in its own way, this one is going to stick with me for a long time.
The process of interviewing them and drawing their portraits lasted a couple of hours, more or less, for each. I met the veterans at places that were convenient for them: a college cafeteria, the offices where they work or at their homes, as was the case with Bernard.
Sitting across from them, I just asked that they try to look towards me as I asked questions and slowly built up the portrait, from the initial light pencil marks to the final watercolor details.
As often happens, my interview notes ended up split between my reporter notebook and the actual watercolor sheet where I drew the portrait. Because it’s hard to draw and listen at the same time, I can’t help but write notes on the margins of my sketch when I hear something important.
For publication, I cleaned out all the notes and added one handwritten quote to each portrait in Photoshop, as you can see here and in the print version.
2B pencil, watercolor and watercolor pencils on 9″x12″ Fabriano Hot Press Studio Watercolor 90lb paper.
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