Gallery Of Pencils, Ink And Charcoal Portrait Drawings On Paper
Drawing portraits in pencils, ink or charcoal is much more varied than one might imagine. Drawing such a portrait can be "sketchy" similar to street painters drawing a quick image or caricature in a few minutes and then the lines are rough and general, perhaps giving something of the person's appearance. On the other hand, drawings can be realistic at the level of black-and-white photography, creating countless different shades of gray to simulate three-dimensionality, volume and depth. In between there are many styles and different levels of freedom to the hand and the material. Portrait drawing requires skill in working with pencils, ink or charcoal: creating a thick or thin line, stiff or soft, dark or light; Many skills for seemingly simple means like graphite, ink or charcoal.
When I work on drawing a portrait, my tendency is to a realistic direction that is as similar as possible to photography. My work on drawing is done with a spectrum of soft and hard pencils, each of which produces a different and critical effect for creating different shadows, spots and lines, hair different from facial features. The pencils always work close to an eraser and the eye is close to the hand and mediates the photo to the paper. The transition from the photo to the eye, to the hand and to the paper is a real meditative procedure, requiring maximum concentration and control in each finger and each pencil or pen. Charcoal is even more demanding because it tends to smear and always tries to be dominant, so it should be handled with a hard hand, intelligence and sensitivity. The paper on which I draw portraits in pencils, ink or charcoal, is a particularly thick dedicated paper, with a texture that increases the absorbency of the materials and allows accurate and quality work.
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