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Pencil Drawings by The Pencilneck ®
The Main Gallery for Owen Garratt’s Pencil Drawings!
Owen’s Pencil Drawings are separated into different galleries; just click on an image below to begin.
A lot of people ask me why I work in pencil, and it’s primarily due to a spot of color blindness that sends me mixed signals as to what color is what, but even as a kid, pencil was my preferred medium.
People understand pencils; everyone’s used them, they’re everywhere, and you can grab one and begin with no fuss or bother. See it – draw it. Got an idea – draw it. Solving a problem – grab a pencil and work it out.
Also, pencil is pure. It’s black and white; there’s no hiding spots or tricks to cover up mistakes. It’s right, or it’s not. It keeps you honest and makes you pay attention to what you’re doing.
Pencil can render all kinds of textures and tones; you can scribble, or you can bring out extraordinary detail. The same pencil can be used to make chicken scratch, or used to create something photorealistic.
When this drawing thing looked like it might turn into something, I figured that I’d better see how far I could take pencil art. There’s a heck of a lot of talent in the world, a lot of it looks like everyone is copying off each other, so I’d better hack out my own space.
A nice platitude, but what was the alternative? I was fortunate enough to come across a writing by Dan Kennedy, who was in turn paraphrasing Earl Nightengale:
“If you don’t know what to do, at the very least, take a look at what everyone else is doing, and do the opposite.”
I purposefully avoided other artists and instruction to keep from being influenced. I didn’t want to know The Rules, and I didn’t want to learn how other pencil artists did it.
I was going to figure it out myself and develop my own thing. Which, in retrospect, was kind of dumb; I could’ve used a couple of shortcuts. But overall it was the right thing for me to do.
The days were spent talking to clients and the nights bent over a drawing table.
All told, I spent 18 months in intense solitude, working on my craft, trying to make the pencil say what I wanted. I experimented, tested, sweated, swore, and roared in frustration. And one day, it clicked.
It was terrible, and it was awesome.
Over 20 years in, I’m absolutely convinced that it was the correct approach.