After struggling with sketching a coconut macaroon at Saul’s last night, I brought it home in a take-out container and then sketched it eight more times, in a duet with the takeout box.
Then I had my way with the sketches I didn’t like that I’d done at the restaurant (below).
Before I’d started the sketch above, I used the edge of the page to make a bunch of little thumbnails to play with composition ideas. This was inspired by a conversation I had with my sketch buddy Cathy. She’s a graphic designer with years of experience. Her sketches are wonderful with exciting line and great composition.
I asked Cathy what she thinks about when she starts a sketch. She said the first thing she considers is how the subject will interact with the edge of the page (or the border she sometimes draws first). She said she never “floats” a subject in the middle of the page; subjects are always cut off on one or more edges. Despite my thumbnails I ended up with way too much table and plate compared to macaroon and was mad at the sketch. So I used the space to write a note to myself about making better use of the page.
Then I went back to the second macaroon sketch from Saul’s and started doodling around with it. My doodles reminded me of the fence around Gramercy Park that was just outside the hotel I stayed in on a trip to New York a long time ago. With the fence, the scale of the macaroon seemed mountainous (or at least boulder-like).
Two other discoveries I noted on the page: 1) I’d divided the page almost perfectly in half (a design no-no), and 2) that I don’t like cropping things because I don’t want to miss out on a single detail or insult the object by lopping off some of it. How silly is that? I’d like to overcome this quirk and learn to put more focus on design, not just detail.