Sketch Sessions 121 - 12518 - Too Cool to Be Real

Drawing created over the course of 5 days for a really interesting person I met from the Netherlands.

The final version of the previous post. When I first saw her, she really caught my attention because her look changed so drastically depending on what she was wearing (or not wearing) and what she was doing. One moment her face could be really sensual and feminine but from a different perspective it could be really hard and fierce. In this image she was the latter and it made me think of a lot of things from Mad Max to a character in a Gothic novel. Completing this was a lot of fun. Hopefully she likes the final and does think I suck.

As the case with the previous projects that have been recently posted, I started this as a rough sketch and used a blending technique to create tone. I have to admit it's a really fun way to work. The crosshatching and facet technique can be a bit more strenuous because it requires a greater deal of control over a longer period of time from my experience. The blending technique allows for flexibility and expression that almost feels like painting at times. The one area where I've found the crosshatching technique to be better is when illustrating hair.

Tasha - Portrait of a friend created using a cross hatching and facet technique.

In the image above, I love the way Tasha's hair came out in this portrait. But there are two key differences between her project and the featured project of this post. The featured project was created on a textured surface which affected line quality. Tasha's project was created on a non-textured surface which allowed for very clean, unbroken lines. In drawing 101, it is taught that surfaces obviously matter. When buying supplies and considering sketchbooks, it's common to consider various hot press (smooth) or cold press (rough/textured) papers depending on what the artist is striving for. Even in the digital realm of creation, this matters because the digital foundation for creation is based on traditional rules. Of course, digital creation allows for a level of flexibility that the traditional realm does not, but we can never forget that digital creation would not and should not exist without traditional skills and development.

The other difference between the two projects is obviously, technique. Personally, I like to use the cross hatching and facet technique on textured surfaces due to the depth and feel it creates but Tasha's project was an exception.

Shon Tenaj portrait created using the cross hatching technique on texture surface. The results make it favor scratchboard rendering.

Tasha's project was created with more of a focus on working on a dark canvas and drawing with light. The natural order of life exists in total darkness with light being added later. In other words, Black came first with White being added later but no matter how much light is added, Black can never be removed because it's the dominant trait not the submissive, think about that. Drawing on dark canvas and adding light is not how many of us began sketching. Many are taught to draw on white canvas with dark line. A strong argument can be made for working this way exclusively as the results can't be denied but it also can't be denied that it is backwards on a technical level as reality dictates that the natural state will always be darkness first with light as an additive.

The blending technique works incredibly well on smoother surfaces. But, interesting results can be achieved by mixing up the formulas. This is why it's also a great idea to experiment because any rule that can't be broken can surely be bent.

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