Monday, May 25, 2009

8 preliminary drawings for "The Twelve Caesars"

Julius Caesar

Augustus



Tiberius



Caligula




Claudius





Nero







Galba


Vitellius


I started working on these in January, I'm obviously missing 4 more, they happen to be the later Caesars that are definitely not as iconic as the first bunch. Maybe it was just the time of the year, but I felt really bent out of shape (which lasted 3 mos). Listening to Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and Joy Division on vinyl didn't help. "The Twelve Caesars" by Suetonius is a really great book on ancient Rome, full of a lot of dark crazy shit. It was, also, in these preliminary drawings that I started drawing the human figure more as I do now. They were actually drawn, except for Augustus, in the order of the book. I think Caesar and Caligula being the first ones. Augustus was actually the last. I wanted them to in some way embody what I perceived, at the time, as human nature and it's relation to power, and maybe I still do. As I'm posting this I'm getting excited about the whole thing again. I'll probably try to finish up the other four drawings by the end of summer. After that I was planning to pick the top 3 and make them better.









8 comments:

SEAN ÄABERG said...

That first one of Julius Caesar is amazing. Very cool project in general, i'm excited to see how they turn out.

Human Mollusk said...

I agree, great idea for a series of drawings!

Aeron said...

Fantastic looking series, MD. I haven't experimented much with charcoal although I love the medium, it's just so fucking messy! But you might really experiment with a variety of hairsprays, any other concoction you buy at the art supply stores, and try to find a good binding material to keep the charcoal, pastels to the paper. Then really work it up in thick layers, almost like a paint, rub out areas to show colors underneath, things like that. It could give it an added depth?

Another idea, spray down the sheet with a fixative like hairspray, then put a handful of whatever color of chalk powder in your hand, and blow it onto the sheet. The chalk might stick to the paper in intriguing patterns.

ULAND said...

Yeah, I agree. There is something I like so much about your approach. It's fantastical, and there is a lot going on, but it isn't overwrought or over-rendered. It reminds me of a certain loose-drawing school of illustration that you see in high-brow books from the 60s-70s- like dashed-off looking drawings of historical subjects in a book of essays- but filtered through an art nouveau lens, filtered through a fantasy art lens. Awesome.
There is a cool schism going on, where the linework and figures are tightly loose, or loose, tightly.

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