Regular readers know that I'm a big fan of Tom Fluharty's sketches.
In an era when quality drawing is under-appreciated, Fluharty's strong, bold, insightful drawings stand out.
So I was particularly pleased when Fluharty announced the release of his splendid new collection of drawings, The Art of the Sketch. Looking through Fluharty's book, several lessons stand out.
I love this drawing of Ringo Starr:
It looks like it was drawn quickly, like the crack of a whip. Yet if you look more closely, you note that he paid attention to-- and drew-- each and every tooth individually.
You don't notice such details at first because Fluharty has the gift to capture them with a vigorous, energetic scribble rather
than the painful cross hatching or stippling that many meticulous draftsmen use to capture
The point is not that Fluharty makes highly detailed drawings-- to the contrary, he often ignores major details.
The point is that Fluharty notices such details; when Fluharty has a pencil in his hand, not one feather falls from a sparrow unnoticed. And from that wealth of observations, he judiciously selects the details he thinks are important. In the drawing of Ringo, that smile is the centerpiece and Fluharty apparently felt that those ungainly teeth were worth the additional effort. We may not be conscious of them, but such details contribute a lot.
You see similar attention in this more finished drawing of Stan Lee.
Look at how much imagination Fluharty has invested in those gnarled old fingers still striking the "spidey" pose:
Or check out the wringing hands in this drawing of Hillary Clinton...
In both cases, you can tell that Fluharty decided that hands would be an important part of the story, and went back to add them to his drawing.
This is a fine collection of working drawings, and one that I enjoyed thoroughly.