Book impression: “Everyday Sketching and Drawing” by Steven Reddy


I bought up this book at Barnes and Noble yesterday — even though I’ve exceeded my book budget for the month. When I opened Everyday Sketching and Drawing It was love at first sight…every drawing in pen and ink. Pen and ink is my native style, the style I’m eternally ignoring while I search for my “real style”, which mostly means trying to draw/paint/sketch like someone else. My wife keeps telling me that pen and ink is really me and I keep thinking that I should be painting digitally and traditionally like the “real” artists I see on Youtube. That’s a real problem. I must look like I’m eternally falling down rabbit holes.

Then I find this book, and it talks to me. Steven Reddy’s style is pen-and-ink with grisaille and watercolor wash. Wow! I love it. One of the treasures in the book is a sketch of R Crumb, one of my pen-and-ink idol ever since I went into a comic book store on Haight street in 196? and bought my first stunning Zap comics. My other big idol is Wally Wood in his Mad Magazine days. Black and white, pen and ink…it doesn’t get any better.

My favorite quote from the book comes when Reddy is writing about drawing his partner. It’s easy to see that she looks obviously different in every drawing:

Creating a faithful likeness would take much longer than I want to spend on any drawing. (p. 138)

I admire the sentiment, and I’m inspired by it.

There you see the thumbnail of an ink-stained dip pen wretch.