Friday, December 07, 2018

Digital Drawing

As I've mentioned in previous posts, digital drawing is becoming more and more a part of my daily routine. Over the past few months I've done a number of digital drawings, from portraits to landscape, and thought this might be a good time to post a few.

"President Franklin Roosevelt," digital, 2018
This post is being released on December 7, the anniversary of the surprise attack on the United States Navy at Pearl Harbor, by the Japanese. Because I was thinking about the anniversary, I did a couple of fairly quick portraits of leaders of the time, using Sketchbook to emulate drawing on toned paper with white chalk enhancements. The beauty of digital programs is the ability to change backgrounds and textures at will. In both of these portraits, I chose a light tan and tried to emulate the appearance of chalk on laid paper.

The attack on Pearl Harbor is much less vivid in America's collective memory these days. It will probably pass without much discussion, but for some it remains an important part of history. 

"Prime Minister Winston Churchill," digital, 2018

"Closed for the Season," digital, 2018
Besides portraits in a style emulating drawings, I did a couple of landscapes using a similar technique. This is one of them, based on the view across a closed golf course one lead-grey November day. The tortured branches of the trees seemed to echo the mood of most people I met that day. This particular drawing was done using a textured pencil and a very dark red color.

"En Pointe," digital, 2018
Finally, digital is a great way to do figure studies, albeit it's easier to do these kinds of sketches from photos rather than life, for many. The newer tablets--iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface Pro, among others--are making digital life sketching more common. Here are a couple of figures done on my Cintiq rather than a tablet.

Extreme poses like the ballerina balanced "en pointe"--at the extreme tip of her toe, are challenging to draw, particularly with clean lines. Digital programs let you either undo and redo a stroke, or clean up the line afterwards. It's considerably easier to efface a digital mark than one made by charcoal.

The second drawing here is of a well-known subject of Greek Antiquity, the Spear Carrier, or "Doryphoros." The figure would have been carrying a spear over his left shoulder, when originally carved. There have been a number of versions of the statue discovered over the past few centuries, providing many artists opportunities to copy a truly sublime figure. The pose is also important, known as "contraposto" wherein the figure bears weight on one foot, throwing the opposite hip outward and providing a sinuous, torquing effect to the pose. It's a useful way to study the figure for later reference, adding to the visual library.

"Doryphoros (after a Greek original)," digital, 2018
Digital Doodles
Drawing Digital Dailies

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