Thursday, April 5, 2012

Real Ladies

"These drawings are quite different from most of the figures I've been posting here lately.  I tend to emphasize edges and line rather than form and color. Where these are somewhat more subtle, much of my sketchbook action is more graphic.   Those in the last post were almost cartoons.  (Yes, I do like cartoons!)   Adding highlights to what is basically a line drawing can produce a nice illusion of form,  but here I'm doing a bit more to strengthen that illusion, - giving attention to the subtleties of shading and color.  This is not sculpture where the stone or clay is essentially a one-to-one three- dimensional copy of the original figure.  A drawing is an abstraction so the line, shape, color or shading on paper are approximations at best.  It is all illusion.

Just as the writer chooses her words, you the visual artist must make choices. - First about materials like paper and medium,  then about the marks and the quality or character of those marks.  The combination of materials you choose, paper texture, the pressure you put on the instrument,  the line character and the color all bear on the results. Fine or coarse line, light or heavy pressure, strong color or perhaps so subtle it is hardly there.  In the end it is your creation, your artistic statement.

These three small pieces are my usual  Prismacolor pencil but on Borden & Riley #410 Grey Pastel & charcoal.

Beyond materials you must  also decide how much you want to say.  Do you want to show everything you see or know about the subject?  How much detail do you need? Do you think it does all you want it to do?  Is the work like prose or poetry?  Is it just a "picture" or is it a work of art,  where your hand, your point of view, your sensibilities are at least as important as the subject.  Is it something that you'd be proud to show others, - but more to the point, do you like it and truly enjoy looking at it.

"The subject is a means to an end, the end being excellence in artistry."  Theresa Bayer

"The beauty of poetry is that the creation transcends
 the poet"  Mahatma Gandhi

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