Thursday, September 13, 2012


 I was amused by the number of drawings of backs of heads in William Smith's sketchbooks.

 Smith drew tirelessly, and when he went to concerts, lectures or meetings he often brought his sketchbook with him.  It's a measure of his talent that, even when he was limited to the backs of people sitting in front of him, he still found artistic challenges :

In this next sketch, a floral arrangement takes priority over the rows of ladies at some event:

Smith did life sketches at hockey games...

 ...and at the beach...

 ...and at performances...

...and at a whole lot of other places.


Blogger Untitled said...

Love the fact that this is all pencil. So how come these drawings arent very smudged? Did he "fix" them ? Or was it just a harder grade like HB or B that he used, my 3 B pencil drawings get smudged as soon as my book is shut!

And he was travelling. Graphite is the best medium in so many ways except that it smudges and the fresh edge and sharpness is lost over time. But good!

BTW To the Smiths and David Apatoff, my name is Amitabh, I used the name "untitled" on my blog. Very glad to see you posting. best wishes.

9/14/2012 6:00 AM  
Anonymous MORAN said...

I like that second picture. Complete absence of cliche.

9/14/2012 5:59 PM  
Blogger David Apatoff said...

Untitled (Amitabh)-- Thanks for writing. Smith didn't use fixative on these drawings, as far as I can tell. A few of these drawings were smudged, but most looked just as you see them. When he had them, Smith used more than one kind of pencil; if you expand some of these jpgs, you will see that he drew most of these pictures with a medium lead (perhaps an HB?) but that he went back selectively with a softer lead for dark accents. His choice of accents is an education in itself.

Where he needed a sharp point for those rare, fine details he seems to have gone harder. Smith clearly understood his materials.

9/16/2012 11:41 AM  

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