Drawing: Calligraphic Gestures

I’m finally back in the studio again today, thinking about reference photos and doing more detailed sketches of the largest figures in the compositions.  I’ve been so focused on the figures over the past few months that I haven’t had an opportunity to think  about the water and reflections, which actually make up the majority of the space in the drawings.  The idea I’ve been thinking about today is finding a way to make the water more concrete and more “real” than the figures, so that by comparison the figures appear to be ethereal and ghost-like.

Studio View

I worked on “matching” a reflection from a reference photo with each figure in each composition. I number each reference photo and write the corresponding number on each figure to prevent confusion. This process is almost like a casting a film, where I consider various aspects of each figure in matching it with a reflection.

Studio View

I think about each reflection as having it’s own: “calligraphic gesture”. Essentially this means that I can reduce and distill the most detailed reference photo into a few simple strokes which capture the core direction and gesture of that reflection.