Mac

Rediscovering the Pencil

25 posts in this topic

The Pencil—what I call my “thinking tool”—is alive and well. Well, it always has been since I was 5, but in the past six weeks I’ve brought it out in full force. First I took on a rare commissioned work that involved some 100+ hours actual work time. I loved the process so much again that I took out a drawing that had been lying around my studio for years. In four days I finished it. What I’ve discovered is that, working from a photo reference I do what I always have done with a portrait; that is I consciously try not to capture a likeness. Rather to make it look like the person, yet stylized so as to be a universal face. Furthermore, I now stylize everything in the picture using every means available to the pencil—which is to say endless possibilities, really letting the pencil “speak to me”. It says “look at your work, not the source photo—the drawing tells you how to proceed. Just let go of thinking, let your feelings (that is to say, your sense of life) be your guide." Perhaps this is a bit backward from writing. I look at the source photo during the "rough draft" and let my sense of life fly toward the end process; the final 5 - 10 layers.

So here are the commission, and the brought-back-from-the-studio drawings.

deroulet_with_dog_l.png

Man and His Dog

Pencil

6¼ x 9"

2012

boy_tree_l.png

Boy Climbing

Pencil

8 x 5¾”

2012

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They seem a little too good. Were they traced photographs?

No. I use the little 4 x 6" photos as reference as I draw. The technique is very similar to my paintings in oil--layer upon layer, dark over light then light over dark. Probably some 40 layers. One who saw my technique in four of my framed drawings thought they were etchings. And, as I say, I purposely do not copy the photos. I select out of them what's important to me and omit a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Outstanding!

You and your Pencil bring life to the images that are just not there in photographs.

I like the picture of the boy climbing the tree. He is not merely climbing a tree. He is having an Adventure.

ruveyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They seem a little too good. Were they traced photographs?

No. I use the little 4 x 6" photos as reference as I draw. The technique is very similar to my paintings in oil--layer upon layer, dark over light then light over dark. Probably some 40 layers. One who saw my technique in four of my framed drawings thought they were etchings. And, as I say, I purposely do not copy the photos. I select out of them what's important to me and omit a lot.

Then you're really good!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They seem a little too good. Were they traced photographs?

No. I use the little 4 x 6" photos as reference as I draw. The technique is very similar to my paintings in oil--layer upon layer, dark over light then light over dark. Probably some 40 layers. One who saw my technique in four of my framed drawings thought they were etchings. And, as I say, I purposely do not copy the photos. I select out of them what's important to me and omit a lot.

The human essentializing virtual pantograph! I can't even read my own handwriting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the picture of the boy climbing the tree. He is not merely climbing a tree. He is having an Adventure.

ruveyn

Exactly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They seem a little too good. Were they traced photographs?

No. I use the little 4 x 6" photos as reference as I draw. The technique is very similar to my paintings in oil--layer upon layer, dark over light then light over dark. Probably some 40 layers. One who saw my technique in four of my framed drawings thought they were etchings. And, as I say, I purposely do not copy the photos. I select out of them what's important to me and omit a lot.

The human essentializing virtual pantograph! I can't even read my own handwriting.

Pantograph! I remember now using a rather elaborate one sometime between 1975 - 77 when I worked as a draftsman for the county surveyor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They seem a little too good. Were they traced photographs?

No. I use the little 4 x 6" photos as reference as I draw. The technique is very similar to my paintings in oil--layer upon layer, dark over light then light over dark. Probably some 40 layers. One who saw my technique in four of my framed drawings thought they were etchings. And, as I say, I purposely do not copy the photos. I select out of them what's important to me and omit a lot.

Then you're really good!

Ah! Thank you very much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

symblols_4_ayn_rand_fans.png

Ominous Parallels

Colored Pencil

10¼ x 7”

2012

One might see that I refer to the power lines in their parallel lines, beyond the obvious reference to Dr. Peikoff’s book "The Ominous Parallels". My working title was "Symbols".

Started before reading his DIM and finished after my first reading of it, when I added the American Eagle and flag. I see better hope for America than his prognosis.

It's a symbolic picture, what with the cowering collective of birds on the main wire. I don't know if eagles come down to devour these birds or not. If anything Romantic in this it's a fantasy that the Eagle is a survivor and will "save" the others in the way of Hank Reardon, paraphrasing: "I'm only sorry I have to save your damned lives along the way."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

symblols_4_ayn_rand_fans.png

Ominous Parallels

I LIKE that. It has depth and a message and isn't just a competent illustration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

symblols_4_ayn_rand_fans.png

Ominous Parallels

I LIKE that. It has depth and a message and isn't just a competent illustration.

So do I. The flag may have been brought low but the Eagle is still Up There.

ruveyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

symblols_4_ayn_rand_fans.png

Ominous Parallels

I LIKE that. It has depth and a message and isn't just a competent illustration.

Thank you very much. I tried to stay away from a propaganda picture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The City of Grand Rapids Mi sponsors and event called Art Prize, funded originally by the De Vos family. Last year's grand prize winner was a pencil rendering of a historic cavalry group - maybe as many as 50 men in all. The renedering was about 50 to 60 feet long and about 12 feet high. I will try to find a reproduction to post. How admire the work displayed here!

If you are around or can go the Art Prize next year, it is amazing. Artists take over downtown, several nearby neigh borhoods and othe rsite, including Meijer Gardens where the Meijer family had constructed Leonardo's huge sculpture of the horse. All in all, a real experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The City of Grand Rapids Mi sponsors and event called Art Prize, funded originally by the De Vos family. Last year's grand prize winner was a pencil rendering of a historic cavalry group - maybe as many as 50 men in all. The renedering was about 50 to 60 feet long and about 12 feet high. I will try to find a reproduction to post. How admire the work displayed here!

If you are around or can go the Art Prize next year, it is amazing. Artists take over downtown, several nearby neigh borhoods and othe rsite, including Meijer Gardens where the Meijer family had constructed Leonardo's huge sculpture of the horse. All in all, a real experience.

Sounds nice. I used to enter, back in the 1980's, an Art contest given through (I think the Indianapolis Art Museum). The attraction, for me, was its focus on small works, no larger than 5 x 7". I always have plenty of my artworks to enter-and never came close to an award or recognition. They had an agenda I should have seen--representational art was ignored. By the early 1990's I'd built up a huge portfolio of works that I took to the Local Art museum, interested in a one-man show. They granted my "great talent" but again were interested in junk art. So I haven't even tried museums or contests or art galleries, with the exception of Cordair. But stand by. By Nov. 15 I will know if my two chosen works for the Veteran Artist Program will be accepted for a year long show at the Pentagon. Glad they ask for any art, not specific to Military art. (Most of my military art is at the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago.) Would make me happy to have my art at the Pentagon. If interested, please see my two submitted works:

//hank1.deviantart.com/gallery/25203626#/dqy8fd and http://hank1.deviantart.com/gallery/25203615#/d1dd6fz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The City of Grand Rapids Mi sponsors and event called Art Prize, funded originally by the De Vos family. Last year's grand prize winner was a pencil rendering of a historic cavalry group - maybe as many as 50 men in all. The renedering was about 50 to 60 feet long and about 12 feet high. I will try to find a reproduction to post. How admire the work displayed here!

If you are around or can go the Art Prize next year, it is amazing. Artists take over downtown, several nearby neigh borhoods and othe rsite, including Meijer Gardens where the Meijer family had constructed Leonardo's huge sculpture of the horse. All in all, a real experience.

Sounds nice. I used to enter, back in the 1980's, an Art contest given through (I think the Indianapolis Art Museum). The attraction, for me, was its focus on small works, no larger than 5 x 7". I always have plenty of my artworks to enter-and never came close to an award or recognition. They had an agenda I should have seen--representational art was ignored. By the early 1990's I'd built up a huge portfolio of works that I took to the Local Art museum, interested in a one-man show. They granted my "great talent" but again were interested in junk art. So I haven't even tried museums or contests or art galleries, with the exception of Cordair. But stand by. By Nov. 15 I will know if my two chosen works for the Veteran Artist Program will be accepted for a year long show at the Pentagon. Glad they ask for any art, not specific to Military art. (Most of my military art is at the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago.) Would make me happy to have my art at the Pentagon. If interested, please see my two submitted works:

//hank1.deviantart.com/gallery/25203626#/dqy8fd and http://hank1.deviant...203615#/d1dd6fz

Sorry, the first link should work here: http://hank1.deviantart.com/gallery/25203626#/dqy8fd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My latest:

brian_4_ayn_rand_fans.jpg

Portrait of Brian Faulkner

Pencil
7 x 8¾"
2013
I started this from life over a period of several days. From life I captured the keynotes I was pursuing. I took several photos that I used later for reference.
Thanks for looking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My latest:

brian_4_ayn_rand_fans.jpg

Portrait of Brian Faulkner

Pencil
7 x 8¾"
2013
I started this from life over a period of several days. From life I captured the keynotes I was pursuing. I took several photos that I used later for reference.
Thanks for looking.

Excellent. Well done, I love pencil. You may find the following interesting. Here is a poor copy of some pencil drawings I later framed together. These were done by a J Mead in about 1910. He studied at the London School of Arts.

post-231-0-11968100-1367455188_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites