Archive | 20:24

The Pavement People

12 Oct

Ink drawing: Pavement People.


Working from photographs can be controversial for many artists and causes a lot of lively discussion in our local Life Drawing group. I take a pragmatic view – I do whatever needs to be done to get the image I want and that sometimes means using a photograph as my starting point. This ink drawing started life as a digital photograph taken outside our local ‘soup kitchen’ where the Pavement People gather around 8.30 am for breakfast. I wanted an image to incorporate into a much larger mixed-media piece. I used Adobe Photoshop to turn the colour image to black and white, then I passed it through an Artistic Filter, the Cutout one. This reduced the amount of grey tones and gave a slightly abstract edge to the figures. The process also blurred some of the faces, which I like because the Pavement People tend to slip into the background and become faceless members of society.

I printed it out and drew a grid over it, scaling it up onto a sheet of tracing parchment in pencil. I then drew it it ink, using mainly Faber Castell Pitt pens and Indian ink and brush. I emphasised the blurred, faceless quality of the figures. The next stage is to rub out the grid marks and transfer the image to a photographic silkscreen to print over the mixed media piece I’m currently working on. I might also print it up as part of a series I’m planning, using a number of photos I have of the Pavement People,  along the lines of William Hogarth’s serial engravings.

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