Here's my work on the first day of this project. At this point, I'm actually really happy with how its going. I am extremely nervous about actually starting works, and especially with something more permanent than pencil. However, I am really happy with this ground color that I've gone with. I think it allows for the depth and complexity in color and value that I'm really looking for, and when mixed aggressively with black like I've done in parts of this work, it creates a lot of interest and subtlety. I think I went in with the black a little too aggressively perhaps, and it made the work (so far) look like 2 separate panels instead of one continuously morphing segment. This shouldn't be a big deal to fix, however, and I'm looking forward to continuing on it.
After the work I did last time I got really upset with the whole piece and didn't work on it for a good long while. Deadlines are motivating however...
I finished up working on the shirt, hand, and arm, and I was actually pretty happy with how I did on those sections. I thought the marks I made looked better than anywhere else on the piece, and even where there wasn't a clear mark to copy from Dürer's piece I managed to make something that resembled his mark. It made me feel a lot better to be working on it again. I also tried to be more bold with the lines and the line quality, especially in the hair, and I think that helped to give it form and a distinct look.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with parts of the work, however, overall, I don't really like it. I'm very glad I did it, and I certainly learned some lessons from the experience.
This started of decently enough, I think. I was pretty happy with how it was going, even though I looked a lot angrier than I did in the photograph.I was decently happy with how the face had gone, and even though I didn't like the whole eye area at first, it grew on me. However, then I started shading the face.
This was a step I was really nervous about, because it was a lot of white space to fill and I wasn't really sure how to proceed. I started with the jaw and the shadow behind it, and that went pretty well, so I decided to just block off the highlights and go for it.
That was a mistake. I over-did it on the face. I have multiple problems with the marks I made. First of all, I made too many marks. I was too narrowly focused on individual areas, and couldn't see the whole picture.I also made to many sections of overlapping shading, which made the whole face much darker than it should have been. Honestly, I probably should have stuck with where I was in the first picture.
My other mistake was in the mouth and nose region. For some reason I had a really difficult time being able to tell if the mouth looked right in pencil when the rest was in pen, and I inked the mouth too soon. The mouth turned out really badly, and in trying to fix it I made the whole area much too dark.
Here is the final (official) process post for this project. I put an enormous amount of effort into this drawing, and despite the extreme incompleteness of it, I was very satisfied with The parts I did accomplish. I copied every single line as exactly as I could, and while I can see errors and misplaced lines, the effect overall is very much the same as Dürer's. Looking back and forth between the two, they look really quite similar, and each major point - the spaces between major lines, thick blots of ink, areas of light and dark - pretty much lines up.
Over the next couple weeks I want to continue to work on this and finish it up. I think I've done the majority of the most difficult part - the overlapping lines in the back of the neck and the hair - so the rest should go a little more smoothly. I'm satisfied with the part that I've done, and I would just like to see this project finished.
Thus far, inking the Dürer copy has been successful but slow. I had some trouble at first with Dürer's mark due to the angle of the pen. Whenever I was trying to make a mark that was thicker or heavier at the top, the pen would catch due to the curve of his mark. In some of the pictures below you can see some of my practice.
Probably the hardest part of this process is honestly just looking at the lines and figuring out where each line goes. There's such a high density of lines overlapping, especially in the part I worked on between the 4th and the 6th, and just seeing where they go is quite a challenge.
Initially, I had been penciling in most lines as I went to make sure I got the proportions just right, but because that took such an excessive amount of time, I've moved away from that and have tried to just freehand most of the smaller, less important lines. It can be more frustrating because mistakes are permanent, but because there are so many of the lines, no mistakes will really stand out unless you compare the drawings at each line. However, I am very proud of the work I've done. Every single line (except one that I forgot and there isn't room to add it in) is in place, and overlapping with the same lines in the same places as the original.
One more frustration of this project is the scale. This piece is massively bigger than the original, which is only 8.2 inches by 5.8 inches, so the width of the pen relative to the paper was much larger for Dürer. This essentially means that on my copy, there is much more white space relative to inked space because the pen is so thin. I've tried to fix this by going over lines multiple times to make them thicker, but it's still not quite right, and it changes the effect somewhat.
Honestly, I really enjoyed the drawing of this piece. I was sick the first day we worked on these, so I started out a little behind and only got my paper set up with its 10x10 grid (maybe a little excessive) on the second day. However, that small grid made the drawing a lot easier to do and I think made it nearly impossible to have any major mistake in proportionality. I do have to make sure I strike a balance between making sure things are in the right place, and getting through the drawing to the next phase. However, overall, I am very happy with how the piece is going, and I like Albrecht Dürer even more now than I did before starting this.
Unfortunately I don't have a picture from my first day of work, as it was only the grid that I finished.