Sometimes Leaving Something Out Emphasizes It

August 3, 2020
Sakura Pigma Professional Brush pen in a Hahnemühle Travel Journal.

I know I like to get fussy. I know I like to go into detail when I am sketching.

I especially love sketching beards and hair.

I remember in February when I was watching “Murdoch” and I made this sketch—I was struck by this actor’s incredible hair.  

I can also remember how, as I sketched, I thought, “I could do all this detail; I could finish this even though the pen is running out of ink…”

But  sometimes what is exciting about an element such as this wonderful hair is simply the suggestion of volume, and the suggestion of detail it suspends before us. And we can pause and consider how a suggestion of volume, texture, and value, in only a small portion, can provide a counterpoint to the full values in the focal point—the face. To me they knit together in a way that is more than three dimensional.

OK, and of course as a child I was mesmerized by the work of William Heath Robinson, an illustrator who played with contour and volume. He used them to create negative space around the form that also has its own life and ability to draw the viewer in. And that’s something to reach for. 

The pirate cameo? Well that just sort of happened. A happy side effect, for a change, of the double vision.

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