Saturday, July 30, 2011

Yin and Young

It took me three weeks to finish this drawing. The idea came from seeing a photograph taken by  Canarino Mannaro, a young Italian photographer.
I liked the drop of water barely hanging on the tip of the model’s nose, and the calm inspired by the portrait.
As I draw very slowly, I cannot afford to keep a model in a certain position for 3 weeks, can I? I’m therefore using photos as inspiration. Photos I take, or find, either in books or online. I always change some details that affect the character of the subject drawn, or I compose it in ways that change the story of the drawing. In this case, the rose window background is an addition to the profile and some features on the man’s face are different from the original photo.

The drop of water, as simple as it might look, was re-drawn (under a magnifier) probably 9-10 times. Drawing a drop of water on a fruit is not that difficult but in this case I was looking for the “right” drop of water.

I acknowledge the danger of spending too much time on a drawing: you start to imagine things and certainly start to see things that a regular public would miss during a 10 second glance at the drawing.

The dark area of the towel, which is not clearly seen here, was one other feature that took me a long time to draw. It’s made of at least 6 passes, using different pencils. In order to arrive at a certain black tone on a white paper (I used Bristol), a lot of layers are necessary. And since it’s a large area in the drawing, it would have been unwise not to use it creatively.
An area of uniform tone looks flat. The towel wrapping around the man needed to have various tones (values of black), to show the curved surface. In what you see in the photo as one black, are actually several variations of it.

The rose window is also based on an existing structure. The inside of the windows is obviously changed. We need to wait for many years until a church will use such designs.

The eyelashes… I leave that just to your observation. But all that added, plus the fact that no one (sane and healthy) can draw more that 5-6 hours daily, pushed the finished result into three weeks.

Yin and Young by Mon Graffito

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