Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Drawing in Charcoal
I love the look of charcoal drawings. When done well, they look so soft and touchable. On my blog entry from 14 January 2008, I showed you one of my charcoal “cast drawings” of an ear.
Here I include two detail images of this drawing so that you may get an idea of what it feels like to put your face inches away from a charcoal. From a small distance away, one can see the image as the artist intended. But up close, the artwork looks amazingly grainy and, in the case of the image of the upper ear, line-y.
The Roma paper has a grid texture to it, the tooth that holds the charcoal. This art form consists of adding only darks to a light paper. There are no “white charcoals” really. In the dark areas, one can apply carboncino (‘charcoal’ in Italian) in such a way that the lines disappear. But in the light areas, there is nothing to be done since a physical ridge creates a shadow that cannot be lightened. Però, I rather enjoy the totally not smooth or perfect artwork – reminds me that human hands were at work, making the paper and creating the image.
I tend to jokingly refer to this close-up view as “dirt on paper,” although most times, I am using the term in a derogatory way to refer to my own dissatisfaction at my current inability to create a successful illusion. Some people tell me that I am too hard on myself, but in truth, it is this quest to improve that keeps me interested in art. One goal is to have the viewer be amazed by the image, but not necessarily have the thought of what the materials are. If you think of paper and charcoal when you see my image, perhaps I have failed to wow and woo you.