Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Basic Drawing Skills - Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker was someone who blazed like a shooting star for a time and while he was at the top of his form he  changed the face of jazz music and had an impact world wide.  Unfortunately, he was heavily fueled by heroin and died way too young because of his addiction.  This image seems to portray the focus and passion that he brought to his music.  In the Basic Drawing Skills class this is the last of our 6 portraits and it is, I feel, a fitting end.  The improvement and development of the drawing skills of the students has been inspirational to see.  One of the skills that seems to take longer to develop is value, having a full range of values from light to very dark.  This portrait is all about value with extensive areas that are basically black juxtaposed with areas of white.  It makes for a dramatic portrait and forces all of us to push our concept of dark to a new level.  I think one of the reasons for our reluctance to go really dark is that a dark stroke can't be taken back.  It's a bold and definitive mark that is unequivocal.  Often our comfort level is with lighter less assertive marks that we can change and modify or simply take back.  Not so with these bold values.  So this portrait challenges us in a slightly new direction and since everyone has demonstrated such high levels of drawing ability it's neat to face this particular challenge.

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