Saturday, March 29, 2014

After Ortiz

Done using Dr PH Martin's Hi Carb Black Star ink (blackest ink I've ever seen by far!) on vellum finish bristol, using W&N 7 series #1 brush and whatever the steel Speedball nib is I have lol. I can see the vellum bristol was wrong for this - it needed a slick surface - in places the ink goes spotty. Plus my brush has a tendency to split into two points after a while - did it just before I started on the decorative brushwork in the bg. So I ended up using the pen for the stuff on the left. I also need to lower my drawing board a ways - I was actually holding the pen upside-down a little bit while drawing this! Surprised it worked at all really, but it did. 

Ortiz is a master of layout/composition - he observed the rule of alternating values in the planes, dark foreground, light mid and dark bg - but neither dark planes is filled in mostly solid. Many artists would have made that foreground figure a silhouette. He seems to know just how and where to let in some light, and I notice he never just 'fills in' - it's always done as lines, and he lets them break up in places so you can see it. I have a tendency to be too heavy handed with darks, need to learn to state them simply and minimally, a thick line or two rather than 'coloring in'. Let in some light and air. And I'm really surprised how dull and un-tailored his fine lines are here - they're very blunt and laid down unevenly on purpose. But I also notice all the shapes made by the fine lines taper at both ends. Very controlled. 

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