Thursday, September 20, 2012
A very fine mugshot, no? In fact, it was the cover photo for the A&E section of last Sunday's Chicago Tribune. Article here (tried to find you a link, but in the world of news, last Sunday might as well be 2006. Of all the clickable options on the page, none had to do with the past). All I have is the torn out photo from that page, so it isn't much help. If you happen to have the section tucked in a corner of your living room couch (perhaps wrapped around that PB&JS you were meaning to eat for lunch), and you view the two side by side, you'll notice I did a fine job of turning Paul into a strung out version of himself. Didn't quite go far enough to qualify for magna status, but his eyes do occupy a larger territory than they rightly should.
I've discovered the problem I have with the human face...the broad expanses of shining (seemingly empty) flesh. The forehead and the cheeks are daunting and easy to misjudge. They look so very expansive to me, that I make them so. It takes a face with "character" for me to create a somewhat successful drawing. The airbrushed feline men and women of the fashion pages are a nightmare in this context. There are no reference points! Animals are wonderful...all that detail in the "in-between" space...the space between the features have features of their own.
Show me an airbrushed model and the face flutters over the surface of my mind leaving no lasting visual impression...just the suggestion of a cool breeze. But show me a face with detail—a face that has walked under the sun, squinted and smiled—and I can see it.
Just Paul's beard was a festival for the pencil—wonderful salt and peppered areas with dense patches of solid brown. The indentations on a whale's fluke have nothing on the unique character of this man's beard. If you had nothing but a photo of the beard, and you showed it to his family, friends and associates, they would exclaim, "What are you doing with a photo of Paul's beard?!?"
Thanks for stopping by!