Copyright 2008, Tim Kelly, Gender Imbalance, 600 x400

As I was contemplating ideas about what I should do for my art project, I got to thinking… Throughout the course of this class, my eyes have been opened to how unfairly women are still treated not only in this country, but on a global scale. This is painstakingly evident in our countries labor force as well its home-front. Every time that I think about this topic, I am overcome with feelings of sadness, empathy, remorse, and I am especially overcome with a heart for change. This project was a chance for me to put these feelings and thoughts into some kind of tangible form.

As a youth, I constantly found myself putting the things I valued most on paper through a medium of black and white sketches or drawings. I have since strayed from this powerful form of expression even though I engaged in it so often. Given that I feel so strongly about the travesty that is today’s gender imbalance, I decided to return to this form of capturing my feelings and emotions in streaks of lead and empty space. To truly express my views regarding the subject matter, I knew that this process would be demanding of my time and of my intellect. The first step in my sketching process is focusing my feelings into some kind of a core idea. After this, I make a very quick, very rough sketch of how this core idea is to be appropriately expressed. Then comes the hard part, trying to translate thoughts into lines and shapes.

Derek, 2005/04/29, The Tornado, 400 x 57

It is amazing to me that such complex ideas and emotions can be capture through such a simple medium with such simple implements. The only tools I used for this project were a single everyday mechanical pencil and a sheet of paper. The pencil I used has standardized .5mm lead and is no different than any other pencil commonly used; the paper, just printer paper. In a sketch format, what are important are not the tools, rather how they are used. There were a variety of techniques I used to translate my intangible thoughts into a tangle piece of art (if we all agree that is what this is). The first of these techniques is a simple pencil stroke or an outline. This begins to shape an object and provides references for other lines and shapes. After shapes and objects have been established, the next step is to apply detail. This is done through a variety of techniques, all of which were applied in my drawing. These techniques are primarily for shading. The first is cross-hatching. This technique shading using a multitude of lines drawn in different directions to give texture and value.The second technique I used to apply detail to my image is called finger-rubbing. This is very similar to cross-hatching. However, after the cross-hatching is finished the artist blends the lines to together by rubbing them with their finger. This provides the same benefits but with a smoother finish and appearance. Both are necessary for different objects.  

Copyright © 2007, Beautiful Living, 400 x 300When engaging in sketching as a form of expression, the tools and techniques are not only helpful, they are necessary. I am so glad that this project got me back into a process that brought me so much joy as a child. I think that it is necessary to get back to child like pleasures every now and then in order to see the world at face value and not over think things. In the future, I will definitely call on this medium when trying to capture my thoughts. I found it to be relaxing therapeutic, and intellectually stimulating. Perhaps, the next time I begin to sketch I will go out and buy more professional pencils to further express my ideas. These pencils vary in shades; the darkest being ver much black and the lightest being a grey that is lighter than even a normal pencil. I will also probably buy a nicer quality paper as both of these things add to the quality of the final product. This paper can be notably thicker or could be textured. If I can’t draw like a professional, I may as well buy product like one. I intend on sketching as often as once or twice a week for the simple pleasure of the art form. I am so grateful that this project allowed me to materialize feelings and emotions that can sometimes be so immaterial.  

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