A portrait drawn from the cover of Neil Young's memoir, Waging Heavy Peace. Drawn from afar, without my glasses on, in pencil. Click for larger version.

A portrait drawn from the cover of Neil Young’s memoir, Waging Heavy Peace. Drawn from afar, without my glasses on, in pencil. Click for larger version.

On Wednesday I had a minor surgery; the second stage of three that started in January and won’t end until around March or so. With that in mind, I spent a lot of time sitting in bed yesterday, which is at the bottom of my favorite activities list. I knew I was going to be laid up for at least a day, so I did my best to prepare myself for what could be a long, drug-hazed day.

Luckily, my post-operation experience was a step up from last time. I was lucid and able to enjoy a few movies, eat some soup, play some video games, and doodle in my sketchbook.

I am one of those people that doesn’t know what to draw when I sit down to draw for fun. In fact, I haven’t felt the “for fun” part of drawing in a long time––I’m sure I’ve said that at some point here on the site before––because when I sit down and draw, I want it to be a comic for an audience.

However, despite being lucid I was still in mild pain and under the influence of drugs to stave off infection and whatnot, I could not work on a page in comfort. So, I had my sketchbook open on my lap. Not knowing what to draw.

I have been a big fan of Canadian singer-songwriter, Neil Young, for awhile now. Though I have kind of strayed from his influence in the last few years for a variety of reasons, he always holds a fundamental place in my creative heart.

He released a memoir awhile back called Waging Heavy Peace, and I recently bought a paperback copy of it because I’ve been having a minor crisis in the last year or so of not being interested in reading any book that’s presented to me. Or, more importantly, I haven’t finished any book in a long time (case in point, I started reading a novel, California, back in July; I’m currently on page 93). Having read a few sample pages of Neil Young’s book, I liked his voice, his style, and how it was written as a bit of a recursive autobiography, eschewing any chronological presentation (interesting to me only because I know his timeline rather well already and getting a retread of that doesn’t sound particularly exciting).

So, I brought that book upstairs with the idea that I might crack into it a bit. I did not. It was on the floor too far away for me to reach.

Later, while thinking of something to draw, I saw the book on the floor and thought that I could draw the cover image. When I was an art student, I drew from reference or life a lot and am fully aware that it is a good practice to get in to. It became a practice I mostly ignored over time because of the aforementioned problems I have sitting to sketch.

Plus, the book rested a good length away and I didn’t have my glasses on (I’m near-sighted). At that point, an exercise became a challenge.

I used to be a much better artist in terms of classical rendering and media. I am more interested now in expression, movement, and storytelling than I am in perfect anatomy (perhaps to my detriment, I don’t know), but it’s good to stretch the muscles. That being said, I wasn’t going for realism; I was going for fast and sketchy and focused on the parts that interested me the most. It’s not perfect, and it isn’t meant to be. So, above is a hastily rendered version of the image from Neil Young’s memoir, Waging Heavy Peace. I’ll get around to reading it someday.