Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Blues for Illustration Friday 

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This is a sketch of Martha, my old tenor saxophone, drawn back in about 1984. This was scanned from a bad photocopy, as I'm not sure where the original picture is, and some of the pencil lines show. It was a large picture drawn very quickly in ink on paper, attempting to capture the form without a lot of outline, more by the lights and darks revealed by the fall of the light (in a sense, that's where "the blues" can also be found :)). I love pure black-and-white artwork (as often employed in traditional comics).

For any sax players out there, yes, the ligature is on the right way - I prefer not to crush the reed, so always had the screw at the top to keep the reed evenly supported (and you could get a better range of sound that way). I used to play both tenor and alto (which means transposing for both B flat and E flat) - they really are different instruments.

I haven't played saxophone in years, but I really should. Nothing can capture "The Blues" quite the way a breathy tenor sax can. I've always liked writing in classical keys, modulating from one to another, but that ain't the blues! I remember when I learnt my first blues scale, then how to mix Mixolydian notes in with it - way blue - that opened up a whole different world!

P.S. If you look carefully you can see me with a sketchpad in the reflection.

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Yep, there's nothing like a smooth sax - love it!Nicely done - thanks for sharing an oldie but a goodie!
Looks great! I like the black and white, classy look.
realmente un dibujo fantástico
Sweet, I can almost here it drowning out the clacking keyboard keys.
This is really cool. I also like black and white for its starkness and simplicity sometimes. It took me a moment, but I found your reflection. :0)
i agree nothing like a good sax playing the blues
nice illo even if it is old
So beautifully done. there's life in it. and I saw your reflection. gosh---i like listening to good sax playing the blues.
Thanks, all! Looking at this picture again, I realize my reflection appears twice on the saxophone!
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