I spent much of Sunday creating very quick sketches of animals, using cell phone photos -- yes, still on the phone, on that tiny screen -- for reference. These are 8 x 10" and took an average of 25 minutes each. They all went home with their owners immediately, so I snapped shots of the art on my own cell phone when I had a moment.
If you're guessing that working from photos on a phone is challenging, you're right. It's especially so if you only have 20-ish minutes to capture what's important.
For me, that means that more than anything else, I've got to get the expression in the eyes. I won't get the absolute accuracy I'd get if I had more time, but I've found that absolute accuracy is not what makes or breaks a piece of art.
It's the life that has to be there, the sense of energy and character, and weirdly this is as true in a landscape as in a portrait of a Boston Terrier.
I'll be doing these kinds of drawings again during Saint Paul Art Crawl. If you'd like one, come see me! But do bring prints of your favorite snapshots; prints on plain typing paper from your desktop printer are ideal. Working from a cell phone really is a lot harder.