Tuesday, April 21, 2009

etegami and the 5 senses (see)

Newcomers to etegami are often advised to start by drawing a green pepper. I'm not completely sure why. Maybe because the focal point (the stem) is easy to identify. Maybe because the shape is hard to ruin beyond recognition. Lots of wobbles and irregular coloring only serve to give the subject greater character. I used a reed pen to draw this pair of bell peppers, so the lines are smoother than they would have been if I'd used a writing brush. One problem with a reed pen (at least the cheap ones I use), is that it tends to drop most of its ink as soon as the tip touches paper. Knowing this tendency, I tried to make swift clean lines starting from the rounded end (near the stem) and moving to the narrow end for each of the puffed segments running lengthwise along the body of the peppers. The pen dropped most of its ink at the start of the line, just where the pepper bulges, so the line is thickest there, contributing to the roundness of the bulges. Laying the paint on each of the bulges (leaving the main body of the pepper relatively pale) is another strategy for emphasizing the roundness of the bulges. I figured this out by trial and error, discarding at least twenty attempts before I managed this one. My sense of sight came into play again when choosing the accompanying words. Though it was simple coincidence that I drew one red bell pepper and one green bell pepper, my brain associated the colors with a traffic light, and the image of the traffic light brought Shel Silverstein's humorous rhyme to mind. The whole thing goes like this: When the light turns green, you go. When the light turns red, you stop. But what do you do when the light turns to blue with orange and lavender spots? I take it to mean that life is more complicated than they told you in kindergarten. And so it often is.


  1. Beautiful Debbie,
    Simble is beautiful,
    not necessary easy.

  2. Thanks Denis. Maybe it helps that I have a simple mind... :p