Saturday, January 27, 2007
These last few days I've been working in silverpoint, drawing skulls. Drawing skills are crucial for portraiture, particularly to understand the underlying bone structure and musculature. So I've been doing some skulls as a way to better understand the face. As to why I use silverpoint (a more demanding medium) instead of charcoal or graphite, the answer is mostly because it interests me and because it forces accuracy. With silverpoint I can't achieve truly dark darks the way I can with charcoal but on the other hand, close attention can give enough value steps to provide sufficient definition of form. It's rather like an exercise with paint wherein one starts with a relatively lighter color and can still manage to achieve decent contrast between cast shadow and light. And since silverpoint is pretty much indelible, intial accuracy of drawing is crucial if the drawing is to be even close to representation. Here's one of the skulls, done on an 8"x6" gessoed hardboard panel. The grouond is actually white, not gray, but that's the limitation of my photographic skills.