A teak chair, drawn with a soft graphite pencil

And today's drawing is: a chair. This is one of a set of teak chairs that I got on eBay after we moved into the house. They have held up really well.

I like the way this came out, though the armrest on the far side is not so good. And I do wish I had drawn it using a pencil with a harder lead. I guess if you wanted to, though, you could invoke that Salvadore Dali melting look better with a soft pencil than a hard one. I just did not particularly want a melting chair. I wanted a realistic chair. But hey, it worked out good enough.

This is one of those subjects that you have to be calm to take on. I was tired, and just flopped down on the couch with a pencil and a pad of paper and kind of looked around the room, all but drooling from working too long on my computer, until my eyes settled on this. Not wanting to get back to the computer screen any earlier than I had to, I was willing to slow down and draw this, line by line.

Its funny how trust comes into drawing something complicated like this. Its completely different than sketching. You have to just take a subject like this line by line, copying each line as carefully as you can, being "honest" about how each line connects to the other one, without cheating. And you have to trust that all these lines going in all these different directions are actually going to end up looking like a chair on the paper when you're done.

Its very different from sketching. With sketching, you don't trust the lines to come together on their own — you make big, quick lines that kind of pull the whole thing together as fast as you can. Its kind of like just jumping into a situation and doing quick, from-the-gut changes to solve a problem NOW. Drawing — slow, detail drawing that follows the lines and stays true to them, as they are, makes you less in control of the outcome in some ways.

I must be feeling really philosophical today. All this from a chair.