10 September 2007


Fabriano Uno SP, 600 gsm, 30" x 22" (trimmed). 5 hours.

rachel is another of stefanie's friends and also associated with an alternative lifestyle project in sonoma county. she teaches children about nature and is involved with a program to train "elders" or wise guides along the model of native indian cultures.

i've postponed working on rachel's images to catch up with some other projects, but once i started i was almost addicted. there is a light and goodness in her features that i found a pleasure to explore.

i had done some life drawings of rachel but for some reason i jumped immediately into larger formats. she just wanted to expand. this is a full sheet drawing in a simple, cartoonish style, and unfortunately the dark carbon lines don't come through clearly in the image.

the image was prepared by squaring a photograph and the sheet, then drawing the image freehand. the lighting was a bit odd: it was late in the day, and a sun spot was glowing on the hardwood floor nearby, creating an upward diffuse glow. i omitted most of the shadow effects. her hair is not reddish (burnt sienna) but a dusky blonde, but the orange complements the magenta wall.

i like the broad, stylized design, flattened space and simplification of the face and hair. i don't see any reason why a "comic book" style of painting can't be as subtle and expressively powerful as caravaggio's chiaroscuro. it's a matter of developing the symbols and using them accurately. and quite a lot depends on the foundation image, the "pose".

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