Paging 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.
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.