I started the thank you ATC project as a way to thank the people who contributed to the AJ ning funding drive. I thought it would be an easy way to say thanks… I was wrong. ATC are a lot of work and bangning out 34 of them took a lot longer than I’d expected. When I first started I wasn’t sure what I was going to do on them. It dawned on me that I should do something people would recognize as mine and something I enjoyed, obviously that had to be portraits.
When you think ATC size, you might think it’s a simple and easy size, fast to fill. After all it’s a small size, so it should be less effort to fill them up. I wrote about my process with these cards before but what I’m most surprised about is how much better I got with concentrated effort. 34 cards done over a 2 week spread of time. In this time I learn how my tools work on the paper I’ve chosen and how to control them for maximum effect. Dry lines, angles, broken line, speed of the pen, rough paper, cross hatching all of that were things that I learned to effectively use over the course of this experiment.You can see the difference in how I used the pens from card 1 to card 34.
You can also see the difference in how I saw the people I was drawing. Some of these images I drew from direct observation and others from photos from flickr’s commons. You can see the change in my direct observation skills from card number 4 to card 25.
It’s amazing what you learn in 34 small drawings that you expected to be easy. This was way more work than I imagined. I probably won’t do another set of ATC for a good long time. These will for sure be collector’s items and rare.