Drawing One Part Two Research Two artists working in contrasting ways

Looking at two artists working in different ways

Susan Hauptman

These are amazing realistic drawings in charcoal and pastel

Still Life (with flowers), 2004, charcoal on paper, 36 x 26 inches  ref: http://forumgallery.com/artist/susan-hauptman/

Analysis: In this drawing two plants one very dark and the other very pale sit in a detailed softly represented vase against a background of varying shades. Apparently all drawn in charcoal, I am unsure how the red in the centre of the flower has been achieved. The larger darker plant is drawn in dense but varying shade of blocked black ? charcoal pencil, the leaf has hints of white making it appear glossy-this I think is achieved by allowing the white paper to show through. At the top centre of the leaf the lines of pale grey and white converge on the stamen which is softly shaded white to pale grey and has small contrasting spots black on white, white on black. The flower to the left of this leaf is very softly drawn -there are a few faintly visible lines in grey or white and the rest is soft block shading with a very light use of charcoal. There are no hard edges and hence the flower is very soft and glows in it’s whiteness against the background which is itself quite light maintaining the lack of harsh contrasts and so softness. A leaf with wiry fronds sticks out to the left-drawn in monotone black with fine lines. The vase using the same techniques is detailed in its picture of lovers. Is the large glossy dark leaf a male and the soft white rose a female? Does the picture have a deeper meaning?

I like the skill of the artist but don’t like the picture itself because  of the glossy dark suggestive grotesqueness of the large black leaf…however without it the picture would have far less impact.


Jeff Gabel ref:

ref:  http://www.spencerbrownstonegallery.com/Artists/Jeff_Gabel/Gabel_images.html

Jeff Gabel    “Some Artist Thats Lucky…” 2007 Pencil on Wood panel 6x6x2 ins

“Gabel specializes in scribbly, small-scale pencil drawings of people or faces, possibly imaginary, with a line of text explaining who they are or what they were thinking at the time they were observed” Ref: http://www.indymoca.org/2009/11/2007-exhibitions/

“Often caught in fleeting moments, the significance of which is only later grasped, Gabel’s protagonists can seem consumed with regret, caught up in a world of constricted social intercourse and fading dreams” ref: http://www.spencerbrownstonegallery.com/Artists/Jeff_Gabel/Jeff_Gabel08.html


Having sat and drawn strangers faces and recorded snippets of their conversations to put the drawings in context I was amused and interested in this artist’s sketchy representations of peoples faces and the words in the background.–(sorry can’t get rid of the underlining)

The drawing in the Spencer Brownstone gallery above is of a caricature of a face looking directly at the artist. The face is drawn in sketchy pencil marks -several lines delineating the surround of the face and the hair with some soft block shading on areas of cheek forehead and philtrum (above the lip). There are only a few areas of the face where light pencil marks have not touched, even the balls of the eyes. Increased tone means increased lines in an area and is found in the lips, the nostrils, the eyes and the sides of the face.The picture is sketched on a white (possibly bluish paper) and is surrounded by writing.

I like these pictures -not least because I have done similar in my various train journeys –see blog “sketches on the train” above. I prefer the light and freer use of the medium than that of Susan Hauptman’s, and the lower tonal variations.

These artists both seem to be trying to say something in an antisocial manner which is fashionable in the modern world and  hint at an emotional sense of repulsion . Susan Hauptman uses dense shading and organic forms, Jeff Gabel uses figurative images of peoples faces drawn in a sketchy agitated manner and builds these into a story with added text.