Illustration, Visual arts and Graphic Narrative

Research journal 4

As the research into the drawing study progresses looking for patterns to develop a personal style and my own artistic voice, the aim of the study itself become more extensive.

At the very beginning, the project mostly required the study of human anatomy of the ideal canon, but as a result of the feedback from my first project it became obvious that it is necessary to include some other aspects to achieve a more complete research, mostly because the deepest criticism was my ability to create memorable characters beyond the ideal canons, going further in the characterization.

Now, besides the ideal anatomy wich is necessary to cover the different features that make a character complete differently and recognizable, issues like facial expression, body types, age groups and genre are also necessary to have a complete range of alternatives for a successful  character design.

To develop this further and complementary to life drawing sessions, I have started making study portraits both familiar and random people, trying to cover different age and genre groups. These studies have been done in digital media, making an effort to capture in a most detailed way all the facial features, but also in traditional media using just a brushpen and black ink. These ink portraits have been done just in a couple of minutes, at first from photographs but later from real life trying to capture the essence of the unwitting model.

The fact of using a brush rather than a pencil, has two main implications, because it is impossible to make corrections over the ink which forces you to be sure about the pressure and shape of the line that you are going to use, but besides, you have to be quicker in what you do. In other words you gain confidence in your drawing and your ability of observation is improved little by little.

On the other hand, the life drawing sessions have started to integrate the concept of tone, using different range of lights and shadows and leaving behind the use of the line to define the figure. I used two approaches to the drawing to achieve this idea, employing textures to reproduce the source of light and also sculpting the figure using just the shades of graphite alone and going further in the exploration of the tone using charcoal.

However, the use of charcoal hasn´t achieved the results I hope for. Maybe because is quite of difficult to leave the line as constructive tool or just because I am not really connected with it, the charcoal seems always a little harsh to me. It looks like I don´t have the confidence or the ability to synthesise the figure without going into the details or using all the varieties and levels of grey rather than relying always on the line  to define the figure.

So far and following the advice of the teacher, maybe what charcoal needs is just confidence and freedom, leaving my usual drawing tricks behind and not looking for an aesthetically pleasing result, just exploring the media and enjoying the drawing process itself.

Cristian Valdes


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