Today we’re going to start with a real simple background. Just move your brush along, real lazy, without really even thinking about it until you realize all you have is gray as far as you can see in all directions here. And once we have our gray, we want to load the brush with some black and we’re going to make some real simple wedges, maybe four of them, not too far apart, and that’s going to be the start of our cramped and humid studio apartment without furniture. That’s nice. Make your wedges real close together, but far enough apart to leave room for some fast food wrappers that we’ll put in there later and maybe a bitter ex-lover who’s dropping by to pick up some clothing or some CDs or a set of keys. There we go, that’s perfect. Now we want to load the brush with just a little tiny bit of titanium white. We’re going to draw a real simple, skinny white line with a circle on top standing in the middle of our wedges, and that’s the beginning of our underweight daydreamer tenant who won’t give up. That’s so nice, isn’t it? And if we dab a couple of eyes, the circle on top starts to become the head, and we’ll add a couple more skinny white lines, and those will be the arms. And then two more skinny white lines at the end here for legs, even though our little guy here hardly ever uses them. See how it’s starting to shape up? Perfect. Now let’s dip our brush into a little bit of cerulean blue… oh, some yellow… and, let’s say… red. Right on top of the titanium white — you don’t even want to clean your brush off — and we’re going use this to just dab some hamburger wrappers and maybe a cat food can that’s now being used as a cute little ashtray… see there? And maybe a few crushed cups over here… or maybe these are beer cans… those almost look like they might be beer cans instead, don’t they? Let’s say they are. Perfect. And I guess if we have a cat food can for an ashtray; we probably have a cat, so how should we paint the cat? Let’s just put a little dark edge on our front door wedge so it looks ajar and we’ll say the cat ran away. Or maybe that ex-lover took the cat along with whatever else was left to get. That’s such a nice little picture. Remember, we’re not trying to get it perfect, just kind of outline the shapes and feeling of the semi-aimless nine or so years our little person has spent living there because he’s too afraid to think about moving somewhere else. That’s nice. If you want to put more litter… than I put… on mine… that’s okay. It’s up to you how much litter you want on the floor. Or if your beer cans maybe look more like a bra lying next to a crushed empty carton of off brand cigarettes, that’s okay, too. It’s all okay. Whatever you want is okay. Just kind of dab the brush into the corner and see what you get and let it start to take shape. Go ahead… you try. And try, and try, and try, and try, and try.
McSWEENEY'S INTERNET TENDENCY'S PATREON
May 9, 2002