No Where to Hide

Four-hour charcoal drawing at the P&C, drawing with the “pros.” It's been a long time since I went to a Monday long pose open studio, and I was really intimidated to go back. But I “toughed it out” and came up with this drawing, which I like. Of course, the face and arm are over-worked, but it was a chance to get my feet wet (must be metaphor day). I do like the overall pose, proportions, and I like the wiping out I did that got left in the background and the contrast of smooth texture from wiping and the grainy pencil marks. The arm is too muscular for this person and a bit long in the bicep, but oh well.
“Nowhere to hide” refers to how I feel about drawing in charcoal. You can't make a nice colorful painting that covers up all the drawing mistakes, nor can you use paint texture for distraction. Of course you can do a lot of fancy stuff anyway, so it's strictly not true. Actually, I keep wondering why I don't paint in oil like everybold else, and this is just reason number nine hundred and ninety-nine. But I've been drawing strictly in charcoal since June and am still fascinated by it. I've explored vine charcoal, compressed charcoal, and charcoal pencils and like them all. Currently I'm looking for the right paper. The above is Strathmore from a pad and wokrs pretty well. I have yet to try Mi Tiente, but that's next on my list.
Drawing accuracy seems like just a technical thing to get hung up over. But I don't think so. I'm at the point in my drawing that I'm conscious of telling a story with each drawing, and I think the accuracy issue is more like using the best vocabulary for the job. I used to think in music metaphors—still do—but I've added writing comparisons. Getting an arm at just the right angle, size, shape, and perspective “tells” that part of the story, just like a few paragraphs would contribute to an essay or short story.


By kencrocker

Fine artist; graphic artist; draughtsman; digital artist

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