The Story Behind 40 works that changed my career 10

AFRO SERIES carbon pencil charcoal dust graphite oil base pencil The Story Behind 40 works that changed my career watercolour paper

Number 10-AFRO XXI

This is one from my AFRO SERIES. I remember I was at Church on a Sunday afternoon and I went to the lobby where we normally relax between the morning service and evening service, and these lovely girls were helping themselves look good. I just took a number a shots while the plaiting took place, it was only later while looking through my archive of pictures did I realize this would be great for my current Afro Series. I cropped the original picture to suit the size, abstract shape and composition I was looking for. I really enjoyed working on this piece because it all evolved organically and I was able to infuse my word-mark making calligraphic strokes into this one too. So if you look closely you'll see words in the background effects!

AFRO XXI, Carbon pencil/charcoal dust/graphite, 8" x 10", 2008

I started by giving the watercolour paper a good sanding effect then I sketched very lightly first to make sure I got the right shapes and proportion of the figures. I used my charcoal dust mixed with water to treat the drawing as if I was working on a watercolour, I work in tonal graduation from light to dark. After this was done, I used a blending stick to work the tones into each other. Then finally I used my graphite pencils and mechanical pencils to get the detail.

This work was sold to my great friend Alice, who saw it on my blog immediately I posted it!

"An artist has to earn the right to shade a drawing by first drawing the lines accurately"-Jon deMartin

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