cubist portrait graphite pencil drawing
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Louise Brooks – 06-12-22 (sold)

Do the Hairdo

This graphite pencil drawing ‘Louise Brooks – 06-12-22’ is the latest in the eponymous series. In 2014 I made the first one and strange enough that’s also a side view. It is pure coincidental, I guess. I just also happen to like the reference picture I used for this one. Or should I mention something else? The side view shows her bob hair cut how it looks best, I think. Most iconic. I once read it was not a carefully planned 1920s flapper girl marketing campaign but her hairdo from childhood. It makes her all the more natural.

Another Louise

After the completion of my colored pencil drawing ‘Louise Brooks – 21-10-22’ I felt it was time to do another theme. I sold it rapidly and was caught up by my Alma Tadema tribute (still not finished). I grew confident to using my matt graphite pencils on Bristol paper through the last drawing. Now I am able to darken things up dramatically more than I used to. On the other hand I’m still able to smooth things out in soft gradients. Perfect for another Louise.

The Invention of an Idea

Doing a portrait and capturing a resemblance is all about artistic craft. Measuring out proportionally has become my second nature. So far no real problems. I always get what I want but I must confess after a while unually something’s gwaning at me. What about a nifty idea, something artistic, an invention? What can I add to the mix, other than simply copying a photo? What the hell do I want to convey? It is about time to talk about the moment of the invention of an idea.

A Hook, a Grid

I guess it’s just like composing a song. Every one needs a so-called ‘hook’, something catchy. This time I was intrigued by her look in the specific photograph. Her hair and face almost look chiseled. That is when I saw many contour delineations seem to run in the same direction. They made me think of a former drawing ‘Sans Titre – 06-08-15’. I decided to extrapolate, even exaggerate these delinations. Some kid of grid in the upper part of the drawing was the result. It seems to match the robotic appearance of her bob haircut perfectly.

Contrast Improvements

Last but not least, in the picture I found the hair fantastic though a bit demanding. That’s due to the tonal values contrasting with the overlit atire. I decided to contrast the background less with the dark hair. Consequently the upper half and lower half make up for the general contrast. Furthermore, I skipped the dark flowers in the jacket because I thought they would only deviate the attention. I only loosely indicated the flowery patterns in her blouse. That’s all.

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Graphite pencil (Faber Castell Pitt Graphite Matt pencil 14B) drawing Talens Bristol paper (21 x 29.7 x 0.1 cm)

Artist: Corné Akkers

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