Goya visits Arkham city

March 26, 2011

A recent diet of Goya and Batman have allowed me to persue my ultimate indulgence – black & white wet media.

I originally viewed Goya’ s Spanish Civil War series at the Hayward Gallery on London’ s south bank a few years ago and have been struck by them ever since. I’ve always enjoyed the precision, control, high level of accuracy and gestural spontaneity of these rapidly executed drawings. Also the strength of character & evocative atmosphere is so powerfully conveyed through such a simple and immediate medium.

I love the technique of low opacity ink wash & gradual build up to black or dark, working in this manner allows an amazing level of control in terms of structure, construction, proportion & tonal build-up. I’ve found that using a wide range of drawing tools will provide even more control for example, hogs hair brushes for dry, scratchy & expressive marks, soft brushes for precision control and detail and sharpened sticks & dip pens for the application and refinement of detail and texture. It was fairly obvious and a natural progression to include the use of white paint, this has allowed for further refinement for tonal build-up, negative space punctuation & areas of detail & texture – eye detail, lips and other areas of moisture highlight emulation. Working like this allows one to go back and forth through the monochromatic spectrum refining the image.

Batman is an obvious one really coming from a life long comic book fan its hard not to be influenced by the graphic styles at any level. i’ve always found a lot of the contemporary interpretations of Batman to be fantastically gothic, atmospheric & wonderfully dark. fantastic Illustrators such as Dave Mckean & Frank Miller amongst others…..


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