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Getting caught up in the small details

Getting caught up in the small details

The blog post I was planning on writing today was going to be about the painting I have virtually finished of the bride and groom kissing under the white wrought iron gazebo with cherry blossom all around them. That was the plan. All poised ready to go with it and then I got an email this morning that put a stop to it.

The email put a frown on my face and a sigh to my lips.

I looked again at the reason for the comment and to a miniscopic degree could see the reason for the comment but felt the point was being missed totally. But I have seen this comment happen before so will now explain how I view the world compared to how it seems a few other people do….

The subject in question in this instance is for two white on black drawings that I have been commissioned to do recently for a couple. I won’t show the drawings here, although they were done three weeks or so ago, as I haven’t yet asked for permission to put them on my blog or website. So, I will describe them and illustrate this without the particular illustrations! The drawings are done in conte pencil on black card in the style that I have done many times over the years. I am very used to drawing in this style and it is a particular style that I have adjusted to fit the conte pencil that differs from a graphite pencil in that it has a far softer point to it, although it can be sharpened with a craft knife to get a good point, but it isn’t as hard as a graphite pencil lead. But the reason I like it so much is because of the soft effect it makes. When I draw in this style, as its white on black, its obviously a tonal drawing, not one with colour to make the form of the bodies. And as it has strong light and shadows on it, there will be parts of the body that are in darkness (ie the black of the card) and some in light (ie the strongest tone of white of the pencil) and maybe two tones in-between using the pencil with a lighter pressure to the card. Even though there might be fine details within the composition I am drawing, the drawing itself won’t really show them as the pencil won’t allow it and as far as I am concerned I like the hint of details within the drawings.  Its not supposed to be a full representational drawing.

And here we come to my problem with todays email.drawing size indicator 1

The clients, who it is my utmost intention to please, have asked for the woman’s nose in it to be adjusted as they say it doesn’t look like “her nose”. This is their second request for a change in this particular drawing regarding the woman’s face. When I looked at the drawing I had done  – to a microscopic degree – I could see the reason why they were thinking it, but I also knew the reason why they were saying it. It was because they were looking at the image on their computer screen, and although I don’t know the size of their monitor, I would imagine the pictures are quite large on the screen, and that they are viewing them in large definition. They are also probably sitting a few inches from the screen too so can see all the tiny details in the picture. Most drawings and paintings when they are framed and behind glass on someone’s wall are viewed from about six feet away. You don’t view them from 2 inches away. I do appreciate that their living space is limited but even so they will generally view these drawings from a few feet away. The whole point of these types of white on black conte pencil drawings is that they are not full detailed drawings done in graphite pencil, they are supposed to be an artists rendition of the models, not a total photographic copy. As an artist I put my artistic interpretation of the models which picks up the essence of the models and in these drawings I have made slight adjustments to improve on the photos I worked from. In this instance the couple are standing up in full body pose, and the womans head is slightly thrown back so that it meant I was looking up her nose and under her chin for the drawing. If I had put them in exactly as the photo then her chin would have looked enormous and her nostrils massive and it would have detracted from the point of the drawings which is of the couple cuddling each other in an erotic way with their hands and bodies interacting and the way the light and shadows make interesting patterns around them. I have slightly adjusted the drawing to make it more appealing from the photo.

And here we get to the whole crux of the point of this. The drawings are done on paper that is ONLY 8 x 6 inches. So the actual changes they are asking for are in bare millimetres (to totally mix my measurements from imperial to metric!).  I have taken a photo of a ruler and the pencil I am using with the finest point I can get on it, and the fine rubber I use for fine adjustments and they look large compared to the size of the tiny adjustments they are asking me to make.

I  really hope they understand the point (excuse the pun!) I am making. I really can’t do anything more with it. I’m trying to get them to realise they have to look at the big picture and not the miniscule details.

I've been an artist all of my life, and my paintings now hang on walls in Europe, USA and Canada. I'm working on getting them on the other continents! My wide range of artwork has been exhibited nearer to home in the East Midlands, with the Guild of Erotic Artists at Beaumont Hall Studios in Hertfordshire, and at "Erotica", Olympia, London. I have also been featured alongside my work in the Guild of Erotic Artists book (volume 2). I love to create dramatic interest in my pictures, whether it’s to paint an unusual landscape, or just to utilise dramatic lighting in my figure drawings or strong colour in my animal portraits. Delighting in the spontaneous tendencies of watercolour adds an interesting and distinctive look to my paintings, some of which are purposefully ambiguous, enabling the viewer to use their own interpretation of my artwork. I also love to hide images, and humour within my paintings, whether it’s a secret message, or an erotic couple hidden within a landscape, or even an erotic landscape where the couple are camouflaged as the features of the land itself. I am equally happy painting in oils, acrylics or watercolours and love to draw with pencil or ink. I have also developed the very effective method of drawing using white pencil on black card which creates dramatic pictures by just picking out where the light catches the body and leaving the rest of the image to the imagination, in darkness. I can also utilise many different styles, whether it is realistic, abstract, surrealistic, erotic, fantasy or camouflage art where something is hidden within the painting. I'm just passionate about my art, whatever I paint! But, it doesn't matter how many landscapes or pet portraits I paint, its always the erotic stuff that people are interested in! I started blogging to share some of the strange conversations I have with the people I meet. But its evolved into far more than that now.

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