Monday, December 29, 2008

Roughing out the drawing

The subject of this drawing is a Ford 1/2 ton flatbed truck dating from 1940 ( as far as I can tell). This truck sat in an old field near the house where I grew up in western Massachusetts. I used to roam the fields and woods as a teen and I captured a photo of this scene with my Pentax 35mm camera on black and white film. I snapped this photo about 30 years ago.

Here is the original photo.

The first step in rendering this image is to transfer a pencil sketch to my drawing paper. I have used a variety of methods to do this in the past, including freehand sketching, or overlaying a grid to the original photo and transfering small portions of the grid to the drawing surface. I have also used slides and projected the image on to the drawing surface and traced.

With the advent of scanner, printer combinations, I find the quickest and easiest way to transfer the image is to print a copy of the image on standard printer paper. Next, I blacken the back side of the printout with a graphite pencil. The printed image is then taped down to my drawing paper. I use a sharp pencil to trace over the main features of my drawing, capturing perfectly proportion and perspective.

Here is the resulting transferred image (click on the image to enlarge it):

Years ago I was worried about my artistic integrity and felt that somehow I was cheating by tracing the main aspects of the image. However, with time, I have decided that my goal has always been to capture the image as accurately as possible and my main work is to choose the proper composition and perform the pen and ink rendering. I tend to work from photos that I have taken and therefore I have started this process with my original photo.

For this project I decided I would eliminate the partial car image to the left. I did decide to keep the old VW bug in the background as it added depth and persepective.


Mark Alan Meader said...

This is a really nice drawing.. excellent composition and tonal range. I'd love to see a larger version or at least a section that shows the detail of the pen strokes. I know there's a lot of detail in there!

D. Hawks said...

Thanks... As I go on, I will be showing a lot of up close detail.