The sketchbook adventures of Peter Poplaski
I love looking through artist’s sketchbooks. More so than their actual finished pieces, they offer the chance to see the full gamete of an artists inspiration, their brain on paper.
Peter Poplaski isn’t an artist I had heard of but his resume is impressive, working on everything from small press graphics to Marvel and DC.
This collection picks pieces from his sketchbooks dating from 1994 to 2002 and is a wonderful collection of portraits and landscapes from his walks and subway rides.
Personally I prefer sketchbooks to be a little freer than what is presented here. I like to seeartists mixing styles, trying new things, joking around and having fun. This collection is quite the opposite being almost exclusively drawn from real life (only a few pages at the end featuring reproductions of comic art really break this formula) but it’s hard not to get drawn into it.
Poplaski’s ability to capture his subjects is phenomenal and I found myself growing more and more jealous of his skill the more I read. This skill is captured best in his recurring series he calls “3 minute faces” where the page is split into several small squares each containing a hastily drawn portrait of a fleeting encounter.
Even these quick sketches, sometimes little more than a few lines are brilliant, capturing so much character in such a small piece.
We also get a taste of his ability to draw background from his impressively detailed landscapes of the streets and ruined villas of Italy.
Every image is rendered simply in black pen, there’s no colour in the entire book in fact.
The book is closed by a small essay by Poplaski in which he describes his first forays into art, it’s short but lovingly written and provides a lovely conclusion to an otherwise beautiful book.