Number 4- Afro XIX
Afro XIX, Graphite, 13.5" x 9.5", Charcoal and Oil Base pencil, 2009
This is drawing was number 19 of my current Afro series. My passion for graphite and charcoal some how takes over here, as I really tried to express myself, and because it was not a commission, I felt a little bit on the free side. The emphasis of this series is the beauty of black natural hair and the model is a lovely little girl in my Sunday school class, she came just like this, the Sunday I taught the class.
In working on this drawing, I worked entirely from a snap shot of her, converting the coloured picture into black and white. I then made sure I used sand paper to roughen the smoothness of the watercolour paper I used. The effect of this roughening up gives the paper some really rugged textures that work well for the Afro hair and for other textural effects. I started by working entirely with a sable brush, water and powdered charcoal. After treating it as a watercolour, I then worked more on the drawing with oil base pencils and then I finished off with graphite for the details and also for the random mark making around the figure. In making these marks, I involve mark making in the form of writing, the writing has to do with how I feel about the work and the theme of the work, I like all this to show up in some sort of graphical poetry of free hand calligraphic strokes.
My blogger friend and Sister, Dominique bought the drawing after posting it on my blog in 2008. She said it reminded her of her daughter when she was small.
"Very early on in my life, I fell in love with the landscape of the human face, where all the emotional states of life are to be found, and the love affair has not faltered."
- Burton Silverman