So I was working on a project this afternoon that was (in so many words) supposed to be hands. I’m doing someone cracking their knuckles, so I wanted it to look high contrast-y and slightly exaggerated, and I remembered Lucien Freud and how that was the same general thing I was going for. I find a couple of his paintings that I was thinking of and come across this one:
“Look at those hands,” I think, “I totally want my drawing to look like that.” However, I’m having a little trouble seeing how he did it and then transferring it to the black and white of graphite. So I throw it into some photo editing app and change it into black-and-white. And I’m taken aback. Looking at the color painting, it had a sort of disjointed but unified thing going on; not really realistic, and more to the crazy side, but well done crazy. However, change it to black and white and you get this:
Absolutely photorealistic? No. But I don’t really think that’s the point; it’s the shades of his skin are completely different! It all flows as if he just added black or white to some fleshy color, but he didn’t! He just exaggerated all the colors that naturally happen on the human skin, but in such a way (which I honestly could not explain) that it still works in rendering.
Of course, I know this isn’t some NOVEL IDEA that NO ONE HAS EVER NOTICED, but I inadvertently stumbled upon it, and I thought it was really fuckin’ awesome.