Friday, February 03, 2006

Dizzy Dean and Babe Ruth

A number of years ago a friend gave me a copy of the book Baseball's Golden Age, The Photographs of Charles M. Conlon, a beautiful collection of images of some of the greatest players in the game's history. Most of the photos are from the 10's & 20's, black & white,very close up and with a sense of intimacy you don't get from regular publicity shots or baseball card portraits. I was playing around with a Prismacolor blending pencil - a pencil infused with a bit of solvent to break down and blend regular Prismacolor colored pencils to give them a look as if they were charcoal or conte - and wanted to draw from some of the Conlon photos, so I just drew the faces dirctly onto the page of the sketchbook (instead of figuring the face out on tracing paper then projecting the drawing onto the sketchbook via the lucigraph, which was the method for most of these baseball faces) and started blending. I liked the strong structural, yet almost ghostly quality of these drawings a lot, in contrast to the slightly slicker finish of the airbrush/colored pencil pieces.

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