Monday, February 18, 2008
Charcoal Sight Size Drawing Ecorche
I thought I might give you an update on the progress of my cast drawing – what I call the “Flaming Archer.” OK yes, bows today are getting much easier to draw by using various pulley systems and other technology. But if you have ever even held a bow, you would know that you do not hold your pulling hand in that manner! The string is not so easily plucked, especially during the times when this écorché would have been created. But then, maybe this flayed man really was that strong ;-)
Ok, back to the business of art: I last showed you my setup on
2 Febbraio 2008. I had done my basic drawing (cartoon) with shadow shapes designed on an inexpensive piece of drawing paper. After I was satisfied with my choices, I transferred the drawing to a quality piece of paper that accepts charcoal well.
This first image here was taken on 4 Febbraio. Normally, my transfer would only include two tones: the white of the paper and darks (all grouped together with an average value of tone). However, because my background is so much darker than the rest, I chose to start with three tones: white, the figure in shadow, and background. Only, I forgot to photograph that stage. What you see here is the beginning of my going over the darks of the background to make them darker.
For this project, I am trying a new paper. The folks at Zecchi Belle Arti e Restauro simply refer to this paper as “fake Roma.” It is made here in Florence, Italy, and looks a lot like the Roma paper, but is whiter, giving me the possibility of a greater tonal range. I am also trying to push the blacks. Normally for the darkest darks, I use a compressed charcoal (bought in the States, since it is different there from the compressed charcoal one can buy here in Italia). But I am also using a Rembrandt pastel (at the top, above the head). Rembrandt’s black is richer and darker than the compressed charcoal, giving me a greater range of blacks. Although the background may look solid black in these photos, it is not. For example, the figure casts a shadow onto the background that is even darker than the black background.
So, I scrub the blacks into the paper hard, sometimes sponging them off and hoping for some consistent texture and coverage in the process. You can also see that my original drawing is getting blurred, so it is a good thing I know how to draw! But seriously, this loss is not important, since in the stage of Big Form Modeling, I will be toning down the edges as I round the figure.
The next two images were taken on the 14th of February. I have begun to create the illusion of three dimensions by applying concepts of Big Form Modeling and also, I have begun to work the shadows a bit. I am also correcting many of my shape mistakes, although I have yet to fix that too-large receding hand or the shape of the base. And today, I finally realized that the shadow shape of the neck is wrong, so . . .
Big Form Modeling gives me a context for the rest of the tones in the image. Ideally, if I do this correctly, the figure will look almost done – and 3-d – before I have even added any details. Draw on . . .