Final one of these for a minute, rounding off a short revival of my 2016 graphite works.
Even in the years that have followed, I maintain that this “Street Photo” series is the most challenging project I’ve done so far. Around 2013 I read about a chap called Paul Cadden (juuuust look him up), and I was hooked, everafter trying to cram more and more detail into smaller spaces.
Time to take a dive.
Trying to recreate evidence of “ghosting” (middle left of main image), a photographic artefact I’m not even sure how to define, but which causes semi-transparency in some objects, and I think happened here. This was part of my whole deal; recreate everything I see, including photographic faults. It’s a big nod to an entirely different sport.
A little more faffing required with background faces than anything else. I remember having to be very careful with this fella. One smudge in the wrong direction, and this wouldn’t have looked like a person at all. More like your nightmare of a person.
Building jazz. Narrow facades to chip my interpretation into. Shiny windows or reflective fascia etc needed 2B laid on thick, resulting in smooth, shiny glare. Just like reality.
Hair, a job kind of destroyed by the embossing tool. I was really keen for neg hairs to stand out, but this was a bit of a hack’s job. I’d like to try hair again now with graphite, see if I can take a more mature and patient angle with it.
Oh you bugger. I couldn’t quite get over how long this took. No use trying the Tombow erasor on the jacket’s 8B pencil, so it was a case of drawing round many of the hair shapes. Wear a different bloody coat, Caroline!
Finally, my favourite bit. I had such little space to get in the details, and it would have made or broken the piece. A few little telling lines and shapes, hopefully coming out wife-like. Probably my proudest moment, as it turned out – a mystifying flash of her beauty. That’s her!
A great way to end the series, and a very happy chap I was.
This piece is still for sale (original and print), with £5 per print sent directly to the Yemen Crisis Appeal.
Noted: I’ve still to reach Cadden’s dizzying levels of competence, and may well never get there (especially when I decide to take a full 12 months away from the medium), but this was a formative, deliberate series of work which set a decent standard to try and live by.
Masters in monochrome to note – Kelvin Okafor, Paul Cadden, Emanuele Dascanio, Charlotte Vovan, Dylan Eakin, Dirk Dzimirsky, Arinze Stanley, Diego Fazio, Cath Riley. I’ll always look up to these people!