Saturday, April 19, 2008

Accordion Practice

My son Dan, who is now a music major in college, spent a lot of time playing along with CDs when he was 10 or 11 years old. In this way he taught himself how to play the Irish button accordion.

I sketched him in one evening amid the clutter of my painting studio. I enjoy this kind of unstudied natural situation, where someone is just doing what they love to do, without consciously posing.

My main concern was how to simplify the scene so that I had only two principalities of tone. Using 2B and 4B graphite pencils, I rendered his accordion and his hair as fairly uninterrupted dark shapes, which helped to bring out the light shape of his left arm.

Dan Gurney, link.

8 comments:

gator said...

great sketch, and i see that dinotopia the series was airing on sci fi channel this past week...it was cool to see.

i wonder if in the future if you ever plan to or have already been working with a studio to creat dinotopia as a 3d animated film. that would look amazing!

any chance we could hear a sneak preview...?...pretty please...haha

Chris said...

Great sketch! Does he still play the accordion?

jeff f said...

nice drawing, and I checked out his site, great stuff, it's great that he can og to music school and play traditional music.

The band sounds great, they could use a singer though...

invissnow said...

You've got the windmill here too:

His arm is light on dark, his head is dark on light, his back (on the chair) is light on light and his left leg/knee is dark on dark...

Eric Orchard said...

I love the accordian! You have the coolest family! Wonderful, sketch, it has a great feel of animation and life to it. I bookmarked thier Myspace page, they have an amazing sound. They should come up here, people here go nuts for traditional music you can actually dance to.

James Gurney said...

Thanks, everybody. Eric--One of Dan's big inspirations has been Cape Breton fiddlers like Natalie MacMaster, music made for dancing!

Dan will be playing three gigs up in Vermont this weekend, and I'm sure he'd love to play Canada, but it's a long road trip from Boston.

Stephen James. said...

Well first let me say, good for you for being the kind of parent who encourages his kids creativity instead of telling them to go after a "real job/major."

Was this one of those cases where you snuck up on him without his knowing, or did he sit for you?

Shawn said...

I love poses that aren't posed. It seems as if he doesn't have a clue that you're sketching him. I see that he was going to be traveling in thailand. I hope that he wasn't near the recent Myanmar cyclone and is safe.