July 29, 2009

Comicon demo


Here's my charcoal portrait demo for The LA Academy of Figurative Art done at our Comicon booth. I appreciate all of you who came out and were willing to stand and watch amid the throngs of people and sights. It was a good time and I enjoyed meeting you.

Once the demo was over and I could stand back and take a good look at the drawing, I saw several things I needed to touch up. I took the time to do so and I think the "before and after" might be instructive for any burgeoning artists out there. Here's my thinking: a charcoal drawing is nothing more than black dust on paper so you have to fight hard for clarity of form and depth. To that end I added more translucency in the hair for a stronger feeling of toplight, I grouped and simplified the shapes of light and shadow and I used softened or lost edges for greater depth. Oh yes, and the nose was too long. That last 10% can make a world of difference.


Jeremy Elder said...

Thanks for posting the before and after. That last 10% makes a difference.

I am bummed that I missed this demo at the con. Next year...

Gregory Becker said...

I wish I could have been there to meet you Nathan so that I could personally shake your hand and say thank you for keeping your blogs so fresh.
I have learned so much from the work you've posted and the advice you've given to me.

the Incredible Andy said...

it was excellent watching you do this demo. It was immensely informative seeing the amount of structure you put in before starting on tone, as well as how premeditated your markmaking is. it was the highlight of the convention this year.

Wish I lived in California so I could take your color class. Thanks for inspiring me!

Joshua James said...

Hi Mr. Fowkes,

It was great to finally meet you! Thanks so much for doing the demo. It was very inspiring. I'm looking forward to taking one of your Color Workshops! I'm in dire need of some color smack down.


adebanji said...

Can't get to the States to witness you live but I learn everday from just watching these amazing drawings on your site-thanks a million for sharing!

This demo is MYSTERIOUS!

Stephen James. said...

There's Alex.

andres casciani said...

Hi Nathan! thank you very very much for visiting mi blog and for your generous words! Wish I could be able to assist to your presentation, anyway I´m going to keep seeing your works here by now!

Nikola said...

You rock

Marcos Mateu said...

That's some drawing!

Dilanka S said...

Wow, I am always amazed when it comes to your life drawings, soo fresh and beautiful.

Rose said...

Great charcoal. Always excited to see the art you present.

sponie said...

I missed you at Comicon. Thanks for posting the great demo. Love your direct style with the charcoal.

Aaron Death said...

Wow, that looks so much like Alex. You captured every bit of him. What a wonderful portrait, Nathan!

Tina said...

nice, really nice, changes were subtle and at the same time significant http://tinasteelelindseyart.blogspot.com

kenjibliss said...

Hello Nathan, thank you for the amazing demo at SDCC. It was very refreshing to see your work process and was very inspirational. I can't wait to see more environments and portrait drawings :) I am also looking forward sometime next year to take your classes. Take care Nathan.

siete said...

Nathan, a very great charcoal work....I'm astonished. I promise you to follow your blog and enter time by time.



Jack said...

Thanks for such a nice post..I think u got huge patience just like your skill..Thats great to see this..

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