Sunday, 22 May 2011

Research Point - Detailed Drawings

Research Point - Find some examples of artists' work who exemplify mastery of detailed drawing and make notes about their work

I did a couple of Google and Bridgeman searches on detailed drawings and came up with a few drawing of interest. First of all I came across a couple of drawings from John Delafield Cook. I was really impressed by the detail in these, they are beautiful.

Bulbul nest 99 - Charcoal on paper 69 x 78cm
Golden Babbler nest 02 - Charcoal on paper 88 x 107cm

He is a comtemporary artist and does incredibly detailed charcoal drawings from nature on a large scale. I'm always fascinated by detailed charcoal drawings because whe I use charcoal I end up with smudges everywhere an I find it very difficult to get small detail in.
The scale of these drawings must add to their effect too. From my own experience I've found that detail is easier if it's done a bit bigger but these drawings are very big and must require a completely different technique from small scale.
Something I've found a lot with detailed drawing is that the objects are in the centre and the background is left blank. This makes the subject jump out from the paper and the background doesn't detract from the detail.

Another artist that I have come across in my search for detailed drawings is Albrecht Durer. The drawings I have found tend to be figure drawing but their detail is beautiful. These would have been done on a smaller scale which adds to the draftsmanship.

His studies of hands are beautiful. The highlights are done with white and the subtle lighting is lovely. One of the things that make his drawings so lifelike is his ability to show the tonal variations. The shadows are very dark and I think that's probably what makes them so accurate. He mainly uses hatching but he has done it in such away that it isn't noticable. The hatching follows the shape of the fingers etc like ringlets which helps convey the 3 dimensional shape.

His portrait of a man aged 93 is another example. This drawing is done in pen and ink but at first glance appears to have been done in a much softer medium like charcoal. This is due to the delicate lines and careful shading that isn't too dark and doesn't overpower. You can almost feel the softness of the mans beard.

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