Friday, July 07, 2006
Sketching in the Galleries with Takako Tenabe
Thursday evening we started a new month of sketching in the galleries with Takako Tenabe. Our assignment was to draw all or part of an Indian Shrine of silver and wood. This shrine as extremely detailed and presented sensory overload. How was I to draw such a complex sculpture? I started with a one corner of the shrine, drawing the shapes of elephants and riders and the columns which they supported. There was considerable perspective to consider. Detail was added with Marks suggesting the complex patterns stamped into the silver. As I draw I noticed another sketching student on the opposite side of this shrine and added her to the drawing. At the conclusion of the class I asked Takako why she had chosen such a complex subject for us to draw. She told me that was to help us see detail. If we had chosen a more familiar and simple subject such as a bench and cushion. We might have seen the general shape and structure of the bench, but have been blinded by familiarity and unable to show the subtle texture of the cushions and wood frame. In choosing a complex subject as the shrine we would be forced to confront the detail and find a way to draw this texture.