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

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Paul Cadmus

Two artists who were personally attracted to men. Michelangelo draws gym bunnies with female faces (look at the Nudes from the Sistine Chapel). Cadmus draws men.
Cadmus teaches a lesson: you dont need to be Epic to be beautiful and powerful. Mostly a sculptor, Michelangelo impresses me, of course with the beauty of his paintings but more so with the grandeur of his murals. Cadmus keeps it cool and smaller yet strikes me with a subtle beauty, one that the size practiced by Michelangelo fails to do.
Here's from my image collection.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How fine can Fine Art be?

One reason I draw in graphite or black colour pencil is the result in itself: the pencil is a delicate tool for a private visual experience.
To make the “conversation” between the spectator and the drawing even more intimate, an artist can elaborate on visual details.
The details are those things that make one person different from another. In a detail, unconsciously observed, lies the answer to being attracted to a person’s face. That detail must be rendered in your drawing or else the result will not have the same effect.
Details also make one go look closer to a drawing, linger, walk the eyes on the drawing and feel the work that was put in the making of that drawing. I always go “Ooh!” when I look at the lace in a Dutch painting.
There are very few masters of the non-detail. But that’s a different story, for another post.

Meanwhile, I finally arrive at my question of the day: how much detail should one put in a drawing without actually reproducing a high-resolution photography? How much detail is too much?
Here under the works of a draftsman I find amazing. Unfortunately, I forgot his name. And then I think, was that all necessary? (pictures under, click for larger image)

Mr Billy Pappas decided to make a Marilyn Monroe drawing. It reproduces with great fidelity the photograph itself. So much so that Mr Pappasto some 3 (4 maybe?) years to complete a A2 drawing, making it the most detailed drawing in the world.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Felix d'Eon

This fine artist from Mexico made a number of Shunga like prints, a while ago. I couldn't find better quality images, apparently they vanished.