Monday, November 7, 2016

Waiting Room

Just an ordinary waiting room, no big deal. It could be anywhere or anyone. Soft murmuring. A TV drones in the distance.

I use the sight-size method to measure the proportions. To do that, I hold the sketchbook vertically and make horizontal and vertical markings for basic spacing. Then I work out the one-point perspective carefully with a pencil and ruler. 

I'm interested in the bones of the scene, the raw grit of tone, the color of memories. Also, I've been looking at a lot of Walker Evans photos. So I reach for black and white. 

You can see what I'm looking at in this tilt-up video (Link to 10-second video on Facebook). I'm fascinated by the soft reflections on the polished floor. Where the sun shines directly on the floor it makes a bright slash. 

A guy leans into the tiny light of his phone, which must hold infinite depths for him.


ScottWms said...

You mentioned looking at a lot of Walker Evans photos recently, but I sense Edward Hopper in your sketch—bleak and institutional. The figures are dwarfed by the setting.

Ruth Squitieri said...

You make the mundane into art. Wow. So impressed. (As usual)

Bug said...

I hope you were not waiting for anything importantly medical. I also wish I had the chutzpah to draw and paint anywhere I land. Keep on, James. You are an inspiration.

James Gurney said...

Bug, no worries, there's nothing medical to worry about. It was fun sketching off in a corner there, and at a kid came by to watch over my shoulder.

Scott, yes, I can see the Hopper influence I guess. I love the way he turns the mundane into art, as Ruth says.

Sherry Schmidt said...

Love this....moody and beautiful!

Unknown said...

Thank you for all your posts. They are all so fulfilling and enriching to mind
and soul.
I love this sketch - very Hopper-ish (apologies to h.s. English teacher)
but also very much Gurney.

Many thanks for sharing your insights and gifts with us. I appreciate
it all so much.

Kingsley said...

Is sight-size your usual method for drawing on location?

m said...

Love this post

James Gurney said...

Thanks, everybody. Kingsley, I don't always use sight size because sometimes I need to change the scale or arrangement of elements. In this case I wanted to get the basic proportions right—or at least close to right. When I want to get exact sight size precision I work on an easel and I've even experimented with a sight-size clear plastic grid, which I've shown on a few of my videos. Bottom line is that I try to have a variety of methods at the ready, and to use the one that suits my interpretation of the subject.