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Lockdown Sketchbook

On the subject of working from home, I made a timelapse video of me drawing in my sketchbook with graphite. 

While we're all locked down in our apartments and sheltering in place during the pandemic, my wife and I are fortunate to be living in a high rise apartment with wide windows that provide views of Chicago's lakefront and Lake Michigan. I've been making a lot of drawings in my sketchbook of these views. The method, as you can see speeded up in the video, is one that has a long history stretching back at least half a millenium:

  • Lay in a few guide marks.

  • Use the side of the graphite stick to put down broad areas of tone, with a few heavier strokes to indicate darker areas of tone.

  • Take a paper stump and rub the drawing all over, to blend the tones into smooth, continuous areas.

  • Introduce the white highlights by rubbing areas out with an eraser.

  • Repeat those steps multiple times until you get a satisfying balance of light and dark tones, equivalent to the scene you are drawing.

  • Finish off with some dark, heavy accent marks.


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