Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Count Charcoalula

Charcoal can be a tricky medium. It takes practice to master the gentle touch required to create delicate middle tones. These are the tones that create the most depth, which is what you want if your piece is going to have the illusion of three dimensions. The lightest and darkest tones create the "punch" - the eye-catching drama - but without those vital variations of middle tone, the piece can end up looking flat.

This charcoal sketch of Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula from ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (my favorite Lugosi performance) has strong lights and darks, but it is those middle values that really give it life.

"I have other ways of securing your cooperation...Look into my eyes..."

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