Making In Silence
Work-in-progress scans and comments
by Mark Reep
In Silence is a charcoal and graphite drawing on heavyweight, acid-free Bristol Board. Tools include General charcoal pencils, Dixon Ticonderoga graphite pencils, kneaded erasers, and cotton buds. The drawing began with a light, nearly random blotting and rubbing of charcoal dust, applied with a cotton ball. I roughed in the tower’s shape by lifting out lights with a kneaded eraser shaped to a fine point, and developed detail with very sharp pencils, stippling from light to dark.
1 Exploration and discovery remain a priority of my process. In the first work-in-progress scan (left), I like elements of the outcropping to the right of the tower. But the crag the tower stands on doesn’t seem substantial enough, and the tower already seems to need adjacent structures.
2 In the second scan, the tower’s taking shape, and I’m working to bring the values of its roof and the sky behind into line.
3 Here, I’ve adjusted and cleaned up the tower’s lines and developed its surfaces further. I like the new bridge, the flow of the bridge and walkway, and I still like the outcropping below. I’m reluctant to give up any of those elements, but though I’m usually partial to solitary, stand-alone structures , it seems clear that this tower should be the focal element of a community or campus.
4 I wanted the adjacent buildings to tie the tower into its setting, without compromising impact or obscuring its brightly lit face, so I kept the new shapes and rooflines simple, clean, complementary. The small building breaks up the horizontals, and the light falling across it becomes another focal element. Trees and bushes function in the same way, and soften shapes, surfaces, edges. More sky smoothed, values adjusted throughout the drawing- Always an ongoing process. The cliff to right remains a work in progress.
5 In the final scan, the cliff’s become more cliff-like, taken a step back into the shadows and assumed a supportive role, with a sloping lawn appearing at the top, between the building’s foundations. A rugged natural setting with another green tucked among the perhaps-ruins below, and carefully tended buildings and grounds above- In Silence is a place of contrasts, one I’ve enjoyed creating.
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