I like taking spontaneous road trips whenever I have the chance. Thankfully, I have good friends who help support this habit. A couple of weeks ago, my friend Monica and I took a drive to Davis, a well known college town near Sacramento here in California. She had some business to take care of, so she dropped me off in downtown for a couple of hours. Normally, when I’ve visited in the past, I’ve gone in the afternoon when everything is open. It was just after 10am, and not many places were open for business yet. Luckily, I found a few local cafés that were open; I ended up at John Natsoulas, a local fine art gallery and café where I found myself a nice spot outside in the sun. I remember that it was a sunny cool morning that day. There were a few customers — university students and even a couple who were passing through on their way back to Tennessee. I recall the barista asking, “What brings you out to California? The husband replied, “We’re on vacation. We don’t make it out to California much.” There was a group of three young women behind me talking about creating some sort of new platform. One of them had recently returned from Tokyo, and said that she was still getting used to the difference in sound level between there and Davis. After checking my social media and whatnot, I slipped on my head phones and cued up the album María by Niña Pastori. After a dozen years, it’s still one of my favorite flamenco pop albums.
This week, you get to see a drawing in progress at it’s various stages. I normally start my drawings in pencil but sometimes I draw directly in ink. This drawing started in pencil, but I didn’t snap a pic of that stage. After the I finish the pencil drawing, I start the first stage of inking. This stage consists of pure line work and nothing more. At this stage, I also decide on how I’m going to handle the values in the drawing. Stage 2 is where I start laying in the darkest values. By doing this, It gives me something to compare all the other values in the drawing to. Stage 3 is obviously where I’ve finished laying in the rest of the shading and adding of values. By this point, I’ve also worked on textures and lettering as well. The last and final stage is the addition of color in preparation for posting on various social media sites. All in all, I’d say there’s a good 10 or 12 hours of work in this drawing. I know, it sounds kinda crazy, but it makes me happier than you’ll ever know.
Recently, a couple of people have asked me how much I would ask if someone approached me about selling my sketchbook. I’ve never really thought about it; I’d happily trade a case (I’ve got 20 years worth of sketchbooks to choose from) of sketchbooks for a house in Andalucia in the south of Spain. Hey, in life you only get what you want if you ask for it. So, if you’re interested, make sure you bring along some tapas, sangria, paella, Estrella Morente, Marina Heredia, Niña Pastori, Montse Cortes, and Vicente Amigo. I’ll be looking forward to seeing you. ¡Olé y gracias!