Monday, February 11, 2013

On the Spot Drawing

I had an amazing stroke of luck the other day in a secondhand bookstore in town. I was glancing through the art section, and on my final look through before turning to leave, I spotted the book On the Spot Drawing by Nick Meglin. It was written in 1965, and looks like it could have been a groundbreaking basis to the modern on-location sketching movement, and probably urban sketching. It was written around the time that on-the-spot sketches were still used in newspapers and magazines, but where photography was gradually overtaking it. The book has several artists talking about different aspects of their on-location sketches, reportage, and the importance of being there. Obviously reportage and on-location drawing had been around for ages, but the idea of popularising it, and seeing it as something valuable in its own right (rather than as a precursor to painting) was really interesting. The artists also talked about how they used different styles of styles of sketching, medium, layout, and mark making depending on the subject matter and the emotion of the scene; which is something I am really interested in.  The different artists had some fascinating things to say about it all, all in the backdrop of 1965 America, and I read it cover to cover.

Wainui Bay, Tasman District, South Island, New Zealand

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