Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Translation in Pencil

"Flowers with Pepe" (graphite pencil)
copyright Sara Light-Waller, 2012

I did this drawing today as an exercise based on the following comment by Ernest W. Watson from the Gallery of Pencil Techniques. “…Brilliant light ‘eats-out’ detail, an axiom that pencil illustrators will do well to remember.” I thought this well worth pondering and so picked out a subject for my still life that would give me an opportunity to try this out for myself.

In the same book Watson also states that, “practically all pencil drawings are of necessity translations of subjects which would be tiresome if rendered with photographic reality in this medium. Translation indeed represents the artist’s creative attitude, literally copying is as mechanical as photography itself.” I was delighted by this latter comment as in art today, photographic realism is considered a very high form of expression. But I have always found literal photorealism cold and quite honestly, tiresome. Translation of subject matter in art gives the eye a sense of relief that you do not get from photorealism. Although many of my works are photorealistic, I feel that I am on the road to something less literal and more “real.” That is the beauty of the artistic journey.

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