Thursday, August 13, 2009
Here's a study after the great Russian artist, Ilya Repin. The original oil painting is called The Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mahmoud IV and measured 358 × 203 cm (140.93 × 79.91 in). My study is 20 x 30 inches and the materials were charcoal pencil on smooth newsprint, which means in about 20 years it will yellow and probably fall apart. I spent about 100 hours on this over the course of 5 weeks and learned a lot about composition, drawing, values, proportion, pencil handling, observing, and most of all, patience. When I did this, I didn't have a real art studio, so I would set up a large drawing board in the tiny dining room of my apartment each morning and work until I couldn't focus my eyes anymore each evening. For background noise, I played all 10 seasons of Friends on dvd. Every episode. Twice. I think having human voices and a laugh track in the background made me feel like a normal person rather than a pathetic artist slaving away at his craft.