Portrait of Emily by M-J Kelley 2012 (quick sketch/charcoal on kraft paper)
Every figurative drawing session that I have ever attended begins with quick sketches of the model. They range from 30 second to 3 minute sketches. For some, I think it’s a bit like an athlete stretching. This isn’t really the case for me. I try to be warmed up before I attend the session.
Instead, it is a bizarre combination of loose lines, accurate proportion and line quality — housed within these early sketches that tell me whether I will be drawing well or not. I am at that place as an artist. This is a great place to be.
My long-time friend Ken used to say that “drawing well was like magic dancing from your fingertips.” So right he was.
And that is what this image is for me — a quick sketch where all was right and the magic was dancing. The lines are loose, the line quality is good and the proportion is accurate.
And when it all comes together, as this sketch did, I get to do one more thing that makes what I do so special for me: I get to breathe life into it with an expression or a look.