For the past three weeks I have been working on the drawing “Quiet”. I photographed the drawing eight times during the period I was working on it. You are invited to look at the progression from start until finish. Click on the images to enlarge them if you wish to look at the finer details.
During the drawing I noted down a few points which I wanted to add to this page about my methods. In no particular order here they are:
I don’t rule lines. This is something I have learned over time because I used to rule lines but decided that they looked wrong somehow…too static.
I use my pencil lightly when I am layering colour over colour. I am not trying to obliterate the colours underneath. My touch is light and I do not try to fill every space with colour. Each layer is full of spaces, letting the colours beneath poke through the colour on top.
You might not realise in a finished piece but there are many times during the work when I surrender control. For instance, a good place to look is the road to see what I am talking about. I am not doing fiddly small strokes to render every bit of light and shade in the bitumen. Rather, I am standing up and using big gestural sweeps of the pencils, crossing and recrossing lines with various colours. It is exhilerating and there is plenty of room for error. I like to work to music and get carried away with it. I am working with my whole arm, not just the fingers on the end of it – and I’m working fast and furious.
In every drawing there are parts which are extremely controlled interspersed with loose surrender. The surrender is needed (in my opinion) so that the drawing lives.
Hence there is always danger in my drawing – for me I mean. I feel like I am walking a tightrope and am not sure if I will make it to the other side or fall off. Plenty of times I fall off. If it were not so, it would be boring.
November 2013: This drawing was awarded an Honorable Mention in Colored Pencil Society of America art award ‘Fall ArtSpectations 2013’. The website is http://www.cpsa.org/artspectations-fall-2013-award-winners
Related page: Subject 1: Kyoto to Paris