Last year I visited Burghley House in Stamford, famous for it's annual horse trials and appearances in films such as Pride and Prejudice & The Da Vinci Code.
Burghley is a beautiful house, full to the brim of treasures such as the 'Heavenly Room & Hell Staircase' fresco's by Antonio Verrio. During my visit I purchased a nice glossy programme as a souvenir and on Wednesday evening, while browsing through it, I decided to sketch the marble statue of two boys with a dolphin.
I sketched with pigment liner direct, usually I would use a pencilled structure sketch for figure work but recently have been challenging myself to lose the safety net. My purpose for this challenge is to:
1. Gain confidence in my abilities & judge my development (Like a self assessment)
2. Detect my weaknesses so I may work on those areas more
3. Explore my creative side
...That is what a sketch is for after all right?
To totally beat myself up against a wall, I also added a time limit of 10 minutes (as you do!). My reasoning behind that little challenge was to keep me from becoming too picky, keeping the sketch fluid and lively - No time to think, just sketch!
It isn't perfect but I am quite pleased with it overall, I especially like the handling of the features on the right cherub and I am amazed at how much all my recent sketchbook work has improved my ability.
I promised myself a whole summer wondering around with my sketchbooks and I am loving every moment but, just now and then, I wonder if I should be doing something more productive with my work, then I browse through my (far too many) sketchbooks, see the images strengthen, the confidence build page by page and remind myself that I AM doing something productive, I am growing, learning, sharpening my vision and gradually gaining enough confidence to play with that vision and make it my own.
I am...as every artist should be...A work in progress!