I really like working with graphite. It speaks to the control freak in me. I often work with conté for exactly the opposite reason – it forces me to give up some control and let the mark making speak for itself. Graphite – perfect for slapping down a quick impression, for tightening up a drawing and for pushing lights and darks to define shapes because it takes so long to build up.
I was watching a “how to” video about watercolour portraits the other day and was surprised that the artist made a big point of saying, “No teeth when they smile!” and I was like, what? That’s kind of a cop out. I had my own caricature done a couple years ago too. It hurt my face to smile that hard for so long but it was totally worth it. Right near the end (he was saving my mouth for last) the artist said, “Close your lips so I can get this right.” No way, man! Draw the smile; draw what you see; be true to the subject. I’m not a formula. The caricature turned out fabulous. I should snap a picture and post it her, even if it’s not my work.
Mostly Black & White Ink
Some silly sketches and the sort. The stockings tryptic was a school project where we had to illustrate a “how to”. I opted for something little more interesting than how to make KD or change the toilet paper roll. Hello! Classmates! Think portfolio. Nobody’s going to notice you when you’re mundane.
These are the fundamentals of art – line and shape, tonal gradations, composition, negative and positive space, light and dark.
I like illustrating rhinoceroses because they are so versatile. They are funny and serious, big and strong and endangered, round and pointy, masculine and feminine. These examples demonstrate a variety of illustration techniques, including graphite, cut paper, scratch board and ink.
Sing a Song of 6 Pence
Sing a song of 6 pence, a pocket full of rye
Four and twenty black birds baked in a pie
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing
Now wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the king?
The King was in the counting house, counting out his money
The queen was in the parlour, eating bread and honey
The maid was in the garden, hanging out the clothes
Along came a black bird and snipped off her nose
A study of composition (vertical, diagonal, order, random, symmetry, asymmetry… etc)