I’ve been away from these drawings longer than I would like, so I will admit that when I sat down to work today that I felt disconnected from the drawing process. I had to do some serious work on the figures in the distance in this third drawing; as always they were too dark and heavy to push back into space. The figures in the distance consistently challenge my tendency to work with deep blacks and aggressive marks. In a lot of ways, these figures need to have every quality that goes against my natural drawing instinct: they’re small, extremely light in tone and barely there. In that sense, they’re an important counter balance to what I’m doing in the foreground, but I am well aware that I have to almost transform myself into a different person when I’m working on them.
I also had some major work to do on the reflections, which had been left completely untouched. Typically, I don’t like having parts of the drawing being so far ahead in development of others. The only reason I allowed myself to work the figures and reflections so separately in this instance was because of the extremely limited window of time that I have with natural light which is required to draw the figures. To “compensate”, I briefly knocked in all of the reflections so that I could start to stitch the composition towards a better sense of cohesiveness.
In contrast to many of the other drawings that feature very active passages of water, I decided that this composition would feature water and reflections that were more subtle and still. The gestures of the figures in the composition are fairly still as they are, so it made sense to allow the reflections to show that quality.