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Friday, March 7, 2008


I moved the position of the dagger, edited the hands, deepened the darks and developed the shading on the foreground leg.


I have always liked the Howard Pyle painting ‘Marooned’ (clipped to the drawing board for inspiration), and wanted to do a similarly themed piece, as it is a classic pirate theme. When this photo sequence came up, it was too good to be true. This may turn into a series, as the photos and characters were all good. Thanks to the crew of the Archangel.

Initially, the character was distraught, as is the character in Pyle’s painting. However, as the drawing progresses, a new narrative is emerging. When you look at this image, what do you see? More on this later.

I have been hankering to return to charcoal again, and really work up the values. Between this piece and the two figures (see I am doing just that. There are even a portrait or two in the works. This time I started loosely with willow charcoal, laying in large areas of tone. I love how soft and workable it is. Now I am building up the values with vine charcoal. It is about the same amount of work no matter what; I just like how the soft charcoal allows me to ‘paint’ loosely at first, and to get the broad general values laid in quickly so that I can start to get a ‘feel’ for the piece.

I am playing with the positioning of the hands and the knife, getting the gesture and the shadows to my liking, and also to go along with the narrative that is evolving.

I have a connection to this beach that goes way back. The photo sequence was staged at the very same beach where I would go swimming each morning at sunrise. Ironically, it is also the site of the ‘damn near drowning of Nigel’ from the First Annual "Walk the Plank Championship" at PiP ’04 (see photo)

Ah, good times.

It is also reminiscent of an experience I had while pirating in Key West long ago, that was a real turning point for me personally; "the Lucky Pirate Money Clip" story...

I am excited to develop this piece, and see where it leads.

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