30x22” Graphite on Stonehenge toned paper.
One of my goals for 2016 is to work on more large scale drawings and “The Imperialist” is my first of the new year. The image was drawn using a few different graphite tools like pencils and graphite sticks in various degrees of hardness and a piece of cotton cloth that I used to gently blend areas like the cloud background. I love the working qualities of the Stonehenge paper. It has a hard enough surface to stand up to indignities, like light scrubbing with a cloth, without any noticeable deterioration and stands up well to repeated lifting with an eraser and reworking with pencil. It seems to me to feel softer than bristol though and so there might be less opportunity for radical erasing and redrawing.
I began with nothing more than a mind’s eye concept of where I wanted to go- no preliminary sketches or layouts. I knew he would have that imperious glare with a barrel chest and military style dress. But I also wanted to show him as being tattered and torn, a hollow failure filled with references to a corrupt past. I began drawing by quickly laying down a few light, rough marks on the paper which defined the outer reaches of the image. I added another series of rough lines to very broadly define some of the inner spaces and from there I simply worked my way through the entire piece.