BACK TO BASICS: drawing in progress 1

Unfinished weaponry & heart (title pending). Charcoal, graphite. 2011. This is a metaphorical work, not to be taken literally.

As the title of this post states, I’m working on a drawing, again. Yeah! With some drawings interspersed from time to time (the last drawing I did was a graphite portrait of a friend about two weeks ago), I have mainly been producing graphic art and design (for clients and “just because” for my portfolio). So, it feels wicked awesome (yeah, I say that…no, I’m not from Boston) to be utilizing my drawing skills & media, again!

Much (if not all) of art is solely based on personal expression, experiences & opinions.

I actually thank my lackluster involvements with certain dudes for only 2 reasons: making me stronger & making for a cool a** piece of art!

The piece (image ABOVE) I’m currently scribbling out (well, it is more than scribbling…more like the charcoal caressing the paper; much more special) has to do with the human emotions (the heart-specifically mine) and what happens to it when you’ve met a few insensitive jerks, basically. The heart gets metaphorically beaten up & yet it is still ticking. 50 monkeys don’t stop my show (although I haven’t had 50 romances…that would be very vulgar, huh?). Also, one develops a tough exterior and a heart of titanium to keep the heart from being penetrated as much. This toughness is represented by some objects in the drawing.

So, this piece is charcoal & graphite on 18”x12” white paper. The objects in the work are: a beat up heart and my arsenal of protection from more relationship stress: 2 pistols, 2 rifles & 2 knives. The cache of weaponry radiate around one side of the heart like a fan. This is NOT about wanting to literally take lives (that’s bad, plus bloodiness creeps me OUT!) So, the look of it is basically a big fat, non-literal visual “GO AWAY”. Niiiice… Whenever I have to explain my artistic style, I often mention that I like to create art that is emphatic, very expressive. No namby-pamby for me. I like it loud with a sharp edge. This is that. And I think it would look dope on a rock group’s CD cover!

Unfinished work with the charcoal pencil I’m using.

This drawing was started in November & I was really enthused with it, had big visual ideas for it (thoughts of menacing guns & tar black charcoal dancing through my head). Then I stopped working on it. Stopped at just the contour (outside) & detail lines. Finally, in May, I’m absorbed by it, again. A few days ago, May 31st, I dragged the drawing out happily. Glad to feel the need to finish it. I started with the weaponry: filling in the white spaces with tonal value (which looks AWEsome in the blackest charcoal). The contours of the weapons I darkened with the charcoal (they were drawn with a light, modeling touch in graphite), then I outlined them again with much thicker, bold black lines. A stroke effect. Next came my heart (not that I know EXACtly what mine looks like, but this is a pretty good imitation). I outlined that with thick black and a gradating (dark to light) effect. Then I drew a band-aid over a deep wound in the heart. Band-aids: wounds always heal. Resilience is a strong thing!

That is where I stopped until I work on it more, but I won’t wait as long as before to return to it. Besides, now I’m REALLY looking forward to the completed image. When I am done, I’ll be sure to post it!

One annoying thing, though, was the point of the charcoal pencils I was using kept breaking during sharpening. Or when the point I sweat blood to get (sharpening soft substances NOT easy) eventually wore down in a dull stub. Yuck. Revolting. Hate that. Shading is ugly with stubby points. Muddy-looking & no smooth value changes at all.

Besides the idea, the thing that keeps me fueled when I am creating is MUSIC! Here’s a list of just some tunes I played while working: Adele “Hometown Glory”/ Amel Larrieux “Weary”/ Dwele “Let Your hair Down”/ The Fugees “Fu Gee La”/ Gnarls Barkley “Run (I’m a Natural Disaster)”/ James Brown “Doing it to Death”/ John Legend “Heaven”/ Justin Timberlake “LoveStoned”/ Lauryn Hill “Everything is Everything”/ Massive Attack “Angel” (Youtube video BELOW), “Bullet Boy” & “Inertia Creeps”/ Mos Def “History” (with Talib Kweli),“Casa Bey” & “Umi”/ Run DMC “Run‘s House”, “Jam-Master Jay” & “You Be Illin”/ Saint Germain “Rose Rouge” & “Sure Thing”/ Santogold “L.E.S Artistes” & “I’m a Lady” (with Trouble Andrew). Go buy or download! Maybe if I were not a visual artist, I would dabble in the musical arts…

I have pretty good taste, no?

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