Yesterday I worked on No. 22. These recent portraits are going fairly quickly, I think because the etching ink work is stronger and therefore I’m having to do less work with the exacto knife and lithographic crayon. On the other hand, another part of me worries that I’m getting lazy and careless and therefore that’s the reason I’m spending less time with the exacto knife and lithographic crayon. I don’t think that’s really the case, but it’s a thought that is itching at the back of my brain.
I have mixed feelings about this portrait; While the articulation of form is okay, I think I missed the mark with the proportions. In general I tend not to think too much about achieving accuracy with proportions, since the intent of the drawings to begin with is to create contorted images. The tricky thing is that the distortions have to feel and look deliberate and controlled, so that they create the illusion of looking perfectly natural and “correct”. I don’t think that I’ve accomplished that delicate balance here: the scale relationship between the eyes, nose, and forehead isn’t quite convincing. There’s the appearance that either the eyes are too small, the nose is too large, and that the forehead is too small. In this case, this is an issue that I should have resolved at the etching ink stage, since majors proportional corrections are nearly impossible to make with the exacto knife and lithographic crayon.