Drawing on Angels

Tobias-And-The-Angel cropPaging through colour plates in a London library, I happen upon a photo detail from a tomb. This is a golden angel Pollaiuolo cast in the mid-15th Century, and the desire to draw this angel comes over me much the same way that I sometimes crave Thai food.

I begin to sketch in pencil. First a blind sketch, 60 seconds counted under my breath, in order to get the tendency of the piece—the leaning-towards, the gazing-beyond-and-upwards, that is so characteristic of Rennaisance work. Then I turn my pencil sideways and begin to add shadows and tone, which will not appear in the final inked drawing. I spend most of my time pencil-correcting the blind sketch proportions.angelpensiveDec8

Not long ago, when I began drawing, I  wondered if it was a bad idea to spend time and obsession-energy on art while working to finish three manuscripts, each in in various states of déshabille. Yet I’ve found drawing helps me enjoy the wide and narrow focuses I have to bring to my novels. Drawing helps me concentrate.   

Mel Anastasiou is both editor and illustrator at Pulp Literature.  Look for more of her angels in our first issue feature story, “Where the Angels Wait” by CC Humphreys.

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