vendredi 15 avril 2011

Closerie des Lilas, pt. 2

Another section and its antecedent sketch. I wished I could have fit the glamorously windswept lady into the final. When out drawing from life, you only get the briefest glimpse of these people--I sketched half of them while they paused before the maitre d'. If an interesting pose is struck, I try to take a mental snapshot, but it's tricky.

The conversing couple were seated just across the banquette from me, and here I had the opposite problem drawing them: not letting them see me staring at them. They were one of the first things I drew in this, (they're a little tight, but not as much as the two older men from the last post--the Donald Sutherland-ish guy was the first character I drew, the maitre d' talking to him the second--and beside them, the Velasquez-cum-Reubenesque girl was the very last! I don't know if that shows much improvement!).

In the case of the conversing couple, I think the final ink is a big improvement over the sketch--it really captures their vibe. In the sketch the man seems a bit serious, a bit disengaged, and the woman has a kind of polite interest--whereas in reality he was really on the make, and she looked like someone who'd spent all of her life comfortably plain and unnoticed, and had now decided, at age 35-45, she was ready for male attention. An interesting wrinkle was that she  projected the air of real money; and this is what seemed to fire her suitor's interest. Now I'm not a cynical man! But this guy, who looked every inch the aging gigolo, had fixed her with a kind of ruthless focus that she seemed both entertained by, and drawn to. Like she wasn't sure whether she'd give in, or just enjoy him from a safe distance. Like she thought of the evening primarily as a way of getting used to being the object of intense male attention.

Very compelling scene!

The ink may not be as compelling as that, but I think it captures a teeny bit of the suspense.

I loved that narrow-eyed fellow on the right in the sketch; he makes a veiled appearance in the left side of the big ink, but I'm really disappointed that I didn't get his whole face into it--I loved his swarthy suspicion, and tried to get it across showing just his eyes, but it doesn't quite come off. Also, you can see the "artiste" in the lower part of the sketch, with his peasant's blouson, his black vest and tightly braided pony-tail. I wanted a more frontal view of him in the final. He had a great Diego Rivera look, but I didn't get enough of that in the final. I want to go back into Photoshop and rearrange his features....


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