Friday, March 20, 2009

Look Ma, No Arms or Legs!


These two torsos are from the same sketching session at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Both were done using 2B mechanical pencil lead in a .5mm Pilot mechanical pencil on Fabriano paper, and the amount of time for each was not too relatively disparate. However, the difference in the results is clearly huge.

Two main differences I noticed in the process were the lighting and my use of a tortillon. The top sculpture was much better lit; the second sculpture was lit by various sources including skylights, which made the resulting shadows muddy. Concerning the tortillon, the Fabriano paper I used is highly textured yet does not hold the graphite strongly, which makes it, ironically, and excellent paper for the use of a stomp or tortillon. The paper + graphite really beg for smoothing.

I have done many drawings without a stomp or tortillon but I felt unable to work without it in this case. I didn't want to resort to it for some reason; I wanted to achieve every effect with just my fingers and a pencil. I didn't use a stomp or eraser on the lower drawing, but by the time I got to the point you see above, I just felt it wasn't worth finishing. So I moved on to the other sculpture, and I like the results.

But I'm still not satisfied. I will post a drawing of the second sculpture and it will be finished and we'll see how it works. Maybe it will be on different paper so I don't feel as required to stomp. Any thoughts from you all out there?

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