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.
8 replies on “Macaroon Marathon”
I enjoyed the macaroon debaucle! I thought for sure you were going to say that the struggle for power was won once you ate the macaroon.
Thanks for the tips on placement of objects within the sketch. I have a hard time with wanting to place something directly center-I seem to do it and then catch myself. I liked the idea of the object interacting with the edges.
Funny and useful – that’s what I like! I had a mental image of the macaroon not giving you an inch!
It also reminded me of one of my past posts when I was doing my composition project – Composition – the four most important lines
Great series!!! Love that direction: “Do not float!” I’ll have to add it to my other Jana Bouc mantra: “Simplify: Big shapes…..” Now I can’t find the rest of that quote! Later…out of time….but I love the macaroon series!
Jana, I really learned a lot from your post and I LOVE the way your sketches look – especially the top one. I haven’t been sketching enough lately – you’ve inspired me to start again, and I’m going to ay attention to the way I design my pages now. Thanks!
I LOVED the macaroon sketches. How you could keep from eating it for that long is a wonder to me!!!! That’s always a problem sketching food!!! We once did a still life with cake in the art class and before we all finished the cake looked significantly DIFFERENT!
Yes…you HAVE to crop the big old macaroon! And yes, it looks like a huge pile of chocolate chips now at the end!!! Maybe put a hand or “part of a hand” nearby reaching for it. Voila, all back in perspective! Hahahaha…yum. The 50/50 didn’t bother me so much but I would love it to run off the page a bit.
I love all the little boxes tipped all over. GREAT designs. And good perspective too!
What a great series of paintings! I’ve really enjoyed the boxes. They seem to be dancing. Lots of personality and life in these watercolors. And, I love your notes. I think you can do anything, including break rules. Wow.
Jana, I love the macaroon and the take out box. Love your note to self and to us (don’t always remember the good stuff when it’s time to use it though). Just find it fun to see you thinking on paper. BTW, thank you for the Saral information.
Fancy warring with a macaroon – edges – something to think about. Lovely post.