A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || October 16, 2008 || 10:18 pm

[The final guest poster is Scott. Lemme just explain to you that I have a 'thing' for smart guys. Vincent D'Onofrio's character on Law & Order: Criminal Intent? Goren. Ahhhh, Goren, you cleverly-written piece of quality entertainment, you. I turn to Maxim when Goren's gears get to crankin' during an episode and I say, "Ahhhhhh, he's my boyyyyyfriennnnnd." Then Maxim is all, "YOU ARE NOT IN LOVE WITH THE CHARACTER, GOOFYWOMAN: YOU ARE ACTUALLY IN LOVE WITH THE WRITER WHO THOUGHT ALL THAT SHIT UP." And I shoot back, "HEY. HEY, HEY. Remember all those Northern Exposure episodes where you went a-gaga over Janine Turner? I NEVER ONCE TRIED TO DASH !THAT! BUBBLE ON THE COLD HARD PRESS OF REALITY." and then he shuts up and I'm maybe just an eensy bit smug, but mostly I'm just enjoying Goren's intellectual acuity.

Bear with me, people, I'm going somewhere with this.

So, first, smart guys. Second comes guys that are either steeped in creativity or wicked funny. Only then do I consider things like hands and eyes and hair and that spot on a man where his neck and shoulder intersect and invite your face to attach itself there. You laydehs know what I'm sayin', thaaaaat spot.

I'm in love with Scott's brain, how it situates the thisses and thats and sends them down into the world via his fingers. I like the nimble way his headmeat seems to perform, the confidence with which he puts it out there. I've got no idea what Scott looks like; he could be hulking and googly-eyed for all I know, and who cares? Not me, because I've no desire to tryst with him in the moonlight. I do have a desire, however, to see him keep sharing the magic in that dome of his.]

When Jett asked me to write something for her blog, I thought to myself, “Self, — that’s what I call myself — – what should I write?” In the end I decided to write something instructive, because I’m really getting tired of how stupid the world is and I think we should all take it on ourselves to teach people something every day. Unfortunately, I don’t know much. I do, however, have a habit of sketching. I do it to silence the voices in my head that tell me to murder people. (That’s a joke. Nothing silences those voices.) Here, therefore, in the interest of making the world less stupid, is an instructional post about sketching a portrait. Learn, damn you! Learn!

How to Sketch a Portrait

1. First, select a comfortable seat at a table near the window of a coffee shop. Busy Bohemian coffee shops are best, but corporate coffee shops will do in a pinch. Place your sketch pads and trendy, blue, plastic pencil box on the table.

2. Order a beverage. If you’re in a good coffee shop, order a large (or whatever stupid word they use to mean large) Mexican High Grown coffee. If you’re at Starbucks, order an espresso drink (their coffee sucks). Whatever you order, make sure it’s in a ceramic cup or mug, not a paper cup. This is the only planet we have, people.

3. Alter your drink to your liking (this may not be possible if you’re at Starbucks, but try to get close) and set the drink on your selected table. If you’re at Starbucks, yuppies will probably be eying your table and trying to steal it. If this is the case, mark the table in the manner of wild animals and growl at the yuppies. They will leave you alone.

4. Now, go outside and talk to the homeless guys at the outside smoking tables for a few hours. Coffee shop homeless guys are the closest things to enlightened masters we have in our culture. Learn from them. Offer them gum or mints. They will decline, but it will set them at ease.

5. After learning at least two life changing truths from the homeless guys, return to your table. Open a sketch pad and select a good pencil. I know what I look for in a pencil, but pencil selection is complicated and personal. I wouldn’t want to intrude or start another long pencil debate. If you come to the coffee shop with me, I’ll show you all my pencils and tell you why I like them.

6. Now select a face as a subject. Subjects should have something to recommend them, some character or quality, some beauty, some sadness. Live people can be good subjects, but not really. They move too much. If you see attractive or interesting looking sleeping people or dead people around, they may work. I often work from photographs.

7. Start in the darkest parts of the face, where memories and hardships gather in deep recesses to stay warm and comfort each other. Emphasize these. After these, select only a few small details to put in, the ones that jump out at you.

8. Get the eyes right. Everything else is secondary.

9. Stop soon. You’ll ruin it.

That’s really all I know about it. It works for me. I appreciate the opportunity to share it with you. Now, you teach us something.

Hello, Jett’s friends. How are you today?

Later. Love.

6 worked it out »

  1. Da Goddess 10.17.2008

    Steps 4-8 are so essential.

    Wonderful guest post! And great portrait.

    And those words: “where memories and hardships gather in deep recesses to stay warm and comfort each other” killed me.

  2. that girl 10.17.2008

    sigh, Goren…Jett, I think you and I should get together and write some persuasive letters to the writers – can the dude not get a little action? Couldn’t he have just had a quick steamy little bit of tongue with Nicole before she escaped/murdered (again)/or died (again)? Come on? Throw us a fucking bone NBC!

    Oh, wait, I’m sorry Scott – you are awesome too! I’m also infatuated with your writing. I had someone sketch me in Paris once, it’s still rolled up in a tube in the back of the closet – it’s my most prized possesion – but I never, ever take it out. I’m waiting until my 40th birthday. And great point about homeless guys – so true.

  3. cIII 10.17.2008

    I like a regular Old Fashioned #2 pencil for the Base work. Then go to work with a Koh-I-Noor .35 jewel tip Technical Pen. .70 for heavy work.

    As an aside, I thought I was the only One who thought Starbucks was likened to licking the bottom of a Toilet seat. We should start a Bowling Team or some such.

    Good morning, Scott.

  4. shari 10.17.2008

    Headmeat = so awesome!

    Also, sorry to drop in uninvited and all, but I stalk Scott, so naturally I’d end up here today. Hope you don’t mind that I looked around and admired the place while I was here.

  5. redclay 10.18.2008

    most those guys are homeless for a reason.

    too much crazy to keep inside.

    expecting wisdom from a wetbrain is like stretching that last piece of the plastic wrap a little too tight.

    you can do it, if you really want to.

    but you got to walk away fast.

  6. scott 10.20.2008

    hey, everyone! thanks for reading this. and thanks to Jett for posting it. sorry i wasn’t around Friday to respond much. very busy day.

    hello, friends.


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