Monday, October 25, 2010

Pan Pastel experiment 1

I'm going to try to update my blog at least three times a week, M-W-F preferably. Sort of following the posting model of Paolo Rivera. This is mainly in my attempt to make this more of a serious art blog with information and what not instead of just personal ramblings. So for today's post I'll give another step by step demo, this time chronicling my first drawing with Pan Pastel. If anyone knows of Brooklyn artist David Jon Kassan you know he uses this stuff quite frequently and is frankly a master of the medium.

Unfortunately I didn't think to make this a step-by-step till about an hour into the drawing, but this is how it looked after the first hour. Excuse the quality as well, the first 3 images were taken with my cell phone. This is done entirely from life with an actual human skull that I borrowed from my job (and have yet to return, hehe) I started it like I would any other drawing; with light, barely visible gestural lines. I then started finding the major dark shapes and blocking them in. Interestingly enough I found that using the pan pastel I can draw similar to the way I paint, which is a nice bonus. The shadow values get massed in with large strokes and then with my kneaded eraser I start finessing the drawing and picking out lights, carving away at the form.

Second go around, this is the drawing after another hour. I'm picking out more lights and little nuances with my eraser, but now I've also started going in with my pencil to get the really fine detail. At this stage I'm rendering cracks and sutures separating the different bones of the skull. Again not as easy to see since its a cell phone pic. I've started working on the teeth as well, getting in the basic overall shapes of the light and dark

This is probably the same stage as before, but I actually took a picture with my camera. I included both because I'm not too sure :)

This is the finished drawing, taken with my camera so you can see some of the detail and rendering. All in all it took about 4 hours to complete, give or take. The process of drawing is similar from start to finish for me. I push and pull the lights and darks. Another important factor in being an artist is that we get to choose what to include and omit. While this is one of the most detailed drawings I have done in a very long time, a big part of that believability is that I didn't show EVERY single piece of information that I saw. There are far too many cracks, holes, stains, and other minutiae on that skull for me to have rendered. The drawing would have lost it's life.

So in closing, I'm very happy with the end result and am proud to include this in my portfolio of grad school images under the life drawing requirements. Wednesday I'll post images from my Representation Painting class, which I teach on Wednesday evenings. Until then, I bid thee adieu and have a great day!