“…through the square window”

Apologies for the lack of recent blog posts; we’ve welcomed a Schnoodle puppy into our home and posting on Facebook better suits my sleep-deprived attention span… But I have managed to make a new batch of sketchbooks; they’re still bound in super-light plywood, and are even bigger than previous versions (they don’t fit on the scanner, hence the oddly lit sketches below…), and they’re now square. Instagram abandoned the square a couple of years ago but I’m enjoying working inside this new shape after years of using the usual rectangle. The square echoes Polaroids, and my first experience of photography using a Kodak Instamatic; it also means one less choice to resolve before getting down to sketching (landscape? portrait? nope). I’m finding the square a more ‘democratic’ shape for composition, it encourages me to use the full frame, and also seems to lead to wider angle vision. But I was leaning towards these approaches anyway,  and maybe the increased size of the page is what matters, so who knows?! Here’s a set of recent square sketches, all in bamboo dip-pen (another decision already made before I settle to drawing); let me know if you spot any patterns. They’re certainly easier to arrange in a grid…

I’ve also been looking for discussions about the reasons for choices between landscape/portrait/square formats in drawing/sketching/art and couldn’t find much. There were a few articles related to the ‘golden section’, and some on photography, focussing (ho ho) on sensor shapes etc. These led to interesting descriptions of the human visual field and how we perceive the space around us. Plenty to ponder…

Screen-Shot-2015-10-21-at-4.45.00-PM-1q7dxqicolin ware information visualisationvisual_field

About Ed Mostly

Enthusiastic daily sketcher based in Bath Uk
This entry was posted in bamboo dip pen, Bath, comparisons, line drawing, sketchbooks, square, street scene, technique, urban, urban sketching and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to “…through the square window”

  1. miatagrrl says:

    Great sketches and also fascinating subject re: format! I love using the square, and yet I rarely do, because the rectangle seems so. . . normal. Yet when I examine many sketches, I see that I actually composed them as squares. So why not bite the bullet and use a square-format sketchbook? I am pondering. . . this is very interesting!

    – Tina

    • Ed Mostly says:

      Thanks Tina, I wonder why you also like the square. It’s certainly very balanced… I shall continue to explore the shape’s possibilities (or lack of), especially as I’ve made two multi-paged square books that are going to last a fair while…

  2. Bill Bytheway says:

    Hi Ed, I’ve just tried to post the attached comment but WordPress requires me to get out of bed and find my password. Too early for that! Bill I have an A5 sized bag that neatly carries an A5 sketchbook, a set of pens and a small tin of watercolours. It’s easy to take impulsively when out shopping or going to the allotment. I do occasionally use A4 sketchpads but in the ‘library’, the A5 sketchbooks sit neatly on the shelf. When I scan sketches, I often crop them and a few end up square-shaped. Perhaps this is one difference between a sketch and a drawing – there is no border to the former, whereas the latter is framed within a particular shape. I like your new square images but I’m not sure about them being more ‘democratic’.

    Sent from my iPad


    • Ed Mostly says:

      Thanks Bill, interesting that the sketch is less framed with no border. I seem to start sketches (whatever size) with whatever caught my eye as focus in the centre and then just work out in all directions. It sounds like your larger drawings are more considered, especially around composition? As my main sketchbook is now so big I’m also, like you, carrying a smaller A6 book for ‘notes’ of figures/faces that I catch as I walk around town. I’ll post some next time.

  3. Stu-ttg-art says:

    I have eyeball goop breakdown in the macular sight of the left eye. Very tiresome and a little scary. I love your friend on the smartphone, looks like a completely different Ed 🙂

    • Ed Mostly says:

      Ag, eyesight problems are a fearsome thing, hope all’s well and on the mend and that it didn’t cramp your style in Rotterdam… It’s my nephew on the phone, as an apology for the terribly rendering of his face in a cafe sketch!

  4. Arr, still totally admire people who can draw the very same. As I suck

  5. In drawing them at times. I wanted to write…

  6. Pingback: The great indoors | Mostly drawing

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