Charcoal pencil sketches

charcoal pencil sketchA couple of drawings from imagination on kraft paper with black and white charcoal pencil. I’ve been enjoying drawing hair lately. It was nice to get the charcoal out after a long time. The chiaroscuro technique of bringing highlights up from a medium tone is satisfying— although I’m out of practice, and without model or reference can be tricky to guess at convincing highlight and shadow.

charcoal pencil sketch

Design: Derby Day posters

Derby party at Commonwealth Brooklyn- a posterHere is the poster design / illustration I created for this year’s Derby Party at Commonwealth bar in Brooklyn. Ray (the proprietor) has commissioned me a number of times for these; he started having these parties at the Great Lakes bar years ago.

This year’s design combines qualities of my two favorite posters from previous years’ designs (below). Commonwealth for the win!

Derby posters for Great Lakes Brooklyn 2001, 2003

Things from imagination

ink drawingSome fashion in the style of the court of Henry VIII (the influence of Wolf Hall, and an article regarding the very fine costume design therefore.) Thursday evening, I took some photos of my laundry swirling in the dryer. One of the shirts turned momentarily into a face in profile, so I drew it. Below: some random imaginaries.

ink drawings

Forks, frames, staghorns— and a fish

Institute Benjamenta
A follow-up to the last post— I watched Institute Benjamenta last night. A surrealist experimental film by the Brothers Quay, their first live action project (as opposed to stop-motion animation). Tap the image above to see a bunch of stills.

The basic premise follows Jacob to the eponymous institute, to learn how to be a servant. The story is based on a novel, Jacob von Gunten, by Robert Walser, and you can read more about it here.

Institute BenjamentaIt’s beautifully shot and directed, with precise framing and timing of every shot. The light and shadow are treated almost as animated characters, and the look of it is very typical of a Brothers Quay project— worth watching on these merits alone. Personally, I want to live in the set.Institute BenjamentaHowever, as it nears the climax of the film, it begins to fall apart as a story-telling device, or at least to begin to lose one’s attention. The filmmakers attempt to sustain an unreal tension for too long— it was mainly, I think, the score in the last 20 minutes or so that seems to cause the failure, making the ending of the film feel anti-climactic, disappointing, but was perhaps intentional.

Still, well worth watching, and Mark Rylance is very adept in the waking dream sort of atmosphere of the film.Institute Benjamenta

I’ve finally been inside the inner chambers, and I hate to say they don’t exist. There is only a goldfish.

A quick portrait

pencil study Mark RylanceA quick pencil study from a still of Mark Rylance in Institute Benjamenta, by the Brothers Quay. I’ve only seen their animated films, but this [live action] one sounds interesting. Mr Rylance much more recently played the controversial, sympathetic  recasting of Henry VIII’s Thomas Cromwell in the BBC’s adaptation of Wolf Hall. Played it with a kind of quiet power that’s rare. 

Anyway, this is just a quick study; doesn’t really capture the eyes properly, but I rather like it anyway.

Art Archive: sketch montage

montage of sketchesAn archive image for today: here’s a montage of various sketchbook drawings. This was a page in my 2004 calendar, which featured all sorts of photos, designs, drawings, and writing from over a few years’ time.