Everything went well right up until the time I was ready to scan my drawings and then sit down and write the blog entry - whereupon I realized that I'd lost the original sketch.
Yeah, kinda hard to do a blog post about sketching with no sketch to use for an example. Still, the blog needed posts so I went ahead and posted the finished jewelry last week and earlier this week.
Then, last night, I found the sketch.
Isn't that always the way? You can't find something when you really need it and then later on when you've given up and moved on with your life, it finally shows up?
Kinda like an ex-husband...
But I digress (as usual)
Anyway, the point is, I'm still going to do the post about to sketch or not to sketch (because I know that is a burning question that you all are staying up nights and biting your nails over) because I finally found the $(#)&&)!!! drawing...and...I have nothing else to talk about today.
So, here are the reasons I don't USUALLY do a sketch:
1. If you've been around this blog for any length of time, you've heard me mention that I failed 7th grade art class. Mostly because of my spectacular lack of drawing skills. So, when I do draw something, not only does it bring back painful memories, but my inner perfectionist gets all caught up in wanting the drawing to be all pretty and perfect and that's a total creative buzzkill, yo.
2. I get easily overexcited by the gorgeousness of the beads and want to just dive right in to playing with them. This drawing sh*t takes too much time - and I don't have a lot of creative time to myself to begin with so anything that takes away from the actual jewelry-putting-together process is a speedbump I don't want to deal with.
3. On the rare occasions when I do sketch something out, the final product never ends up looking anything like the original sketch so doesn't that make the drawing process even MORE of a time waster?
Now, here's the flip side of the argument:
1. Sometimes ideas come to me in mental flashes - like someone just hit the flash button on a camera in my head and POOF! Instant jewelry design. This tends to happen at inopportune moments for actual jewelry creation - like while I'm walking down the hallway at work, driving in traffic, trying not to fall asleep in a meeting or standing in the shower. Chances are, by the time I can actually get to my workspace, the idea will be gone. Making a quick sketch or even listing the types of beads and colors at least gives me a hope in hell of remembering my idea later on.
2. Rather than shopping through my massive stash of beads and getting distracted by the pretty while trying to put together a design, I can use the sketch like a "shopping list" so I only go to what I need for the piece.
Now, let's take a look at my actual drawings and see how they did or did not turn into actual jewelry:
This is the drawing I did for what turned out to be the "Chocolate & Roses" bracelet that I posted last week. It started with the aqua ceramic "button" style links from Mary Ann Carroll. In the original vision, I added some large amethyst chunks along with smaller rondelles of amazonite or turqoise and purple jade, some brass chain and brass sand dollar and seahorse charms.
How retarded is my seahorse drawing btw? LOL!
Besides that, things went wrong immediately when I dug into the stash in search of the purple amethyst chunks only to realize they were gone. I knew I'd used some in a design years ago, but somehow I thought there were a couple left over. WRONG! I didn't have anything else of the right size and shape in a color that worked with the aqua links that I could use in place of the amethyst so that idea was out the window.
Then, I couldn't get the plan I had for wiring the button links into the right place to work. It just felt too flimsy like it wouldn't hold together.
And I'd never been convinced that I could properly balance the weight on this piece as drawn because of having the lighter chain on the sides.
Well, large links from a brass chain turned into jump rings which solved my linking problem and then I had that strand of carved floral chocolate brown beads from Michael's sitting on my workspace anyway so I decided to go with that. Add in an amazonite nugget, pearls and some seed beads and wire and done!
See what I mean about how the finished product never looks much like the sketch? I do think the color combination in the original drawing is prettier and still like the idea of adding in the brass "ocean life" charms, but I may have to pursue that in a different format in a future design.
Now, here's a look at another sketch:
This is the sketch I did for the "Jungle Boogie" necklace I posted earlier this week. My favorite part is the way the brass pendant is so totally out of whack from a size perspective AND that I ended up using a different brass pendant anyway. I was going to go with the leafy one, but it looked too busy with the necklace - which already had a lot going on in it.
I also ended up doing clusters of 5 flower dangles instead of 3 as drawn. I started out with 3, but it just looked kind of wimpy on the necklace and the flowers weren't lying the way I wanted them to.
Also, once I started actually putting the necklace together, I realized that the back half as drawn was a little too sleek and regimented for the wild front. I added extra sections of crescent beads and flower dangles, reduced the amount of the green rectangular beads at the back and broke up their silhouette by adding a few more orange rounds between them.
And that's how I got my "Jungle Boogie" on ;-)
So, what about you? Do you sketch first? Always, sometimes, rarely or never? Why or why not? Are there other advantages or disadvantages to sketching designs besides what I've mentioned here?
Also, do you think my 7th grade art teacher should be tarred and feathered? Or do you kind of agree with her and I should maybe have my colored pencils confiscated in the interest of public eye safety???