Sometimes I like to work directly from the imagination, and without premeditation. In my early days, I used to work primarily this way. It’s a fun way to work in that you never know what’s going to happen, but it’s inefficient in that it involves lots of changes and reworking, and no direct plan. The opposite way to work is to have a finished image in mind, and then to execute it, which is something I rarely do, even now.
This is a digital drawing, and for this type of drawing I really think I prefer drawing digitally to using traditional mediums. When I used this method in the past I used charcoal and an eraser, and that is a fragile medium. My hands would be black and most the charcoal cascaded to the floor. Had to spray it down with a lot of fixative. Below is an example from roughly 25 years ago.
I do like me some good Expressionism, and back then I had a signature style, so to speak, which my college teachers beat out of me, but that’s another story. But I suppose the good thing is they didn’t really kill it, because I still sometimes work in a very similar way, such as with CEOTTK.
Hmm, my new work is much more refined, but the old one, which I knocked off in one session, has a rough appeal. Now I’m feeling like doing some Expressionist drawings.
I think a lot about the signature style issue, and why I am against it. I’ll elaborate more on that in a future post, but, art is sometimes the primary or only place where we have real freedom, and even self-imposed constraints may be counterproductive. That and my imagination doesn’t seem to like to stick to one thing for very long.
Here’s a close up of the new work, so you can see the “brush strokes”, though this is more like dragging pastel. It’s really quite a lot like using dustless pastels that also permanently adhere and have absolute opacity.
Naysayers who poo-poo digital drawing/painting (even though David Hockney does it now, and he’s 79) probably haven’t had a good chance to work on the computer in the most conducive ways. It really can be very traditional, and working on this was as traditional as making the charcoal drawing. Also see my last digital painting roughly in the style of Van Gogh, below.
Back to the new image. A lot of what it is about is just the sorts of special effects which really appeal to me and are also difficult to do. When it comes to lighting, shading, modeling, and perspective, I mostly just wing it, though I certainly attempt to find out precisely how to do this or that technique now and again.
I thought of putting it in color, but the values are so rich, I don’t think it’s necessary, and might detract from the drama.
It’s a square format, which is uncomfortable for me (I prefer a cinematic wide landscape orientation), but I started this one intending it for Instagram, when I first got on Instagram, and when they really preferred a square format. This is also a companion to another piece I did using the same approach.
If you’d like to see them side by side, here it goes.
These go together better than I expected, and the square format forces intimacy. I have to confess I stopped writing and just looked at these for a spell. With all the talk about the death of originality (I have a post coming up about this) and authenticity and individuality, these are quite peculiar and personal creations, that do a lot with a limited means. I have a lot of new pieces planned, but I’m getting curious about what I’d come up with if I did another of these with the landscape format I like.
I’m not going to interpret it for people, and, of course, it has ambiguity built into it. The name is an acronym, and someone nailed it within minutes of my posting the image on my Instagram account. Can you guess what it means?
And I’m very curious as to what people think it’s about, so, feel free to share your idea in a comment.
Also, this was not my conscious intent, but, the final scene of one of the most influential movies for me when growing up has a lot in common.
Let me know what you think.
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