Friday, September 25, 2009

The Mornings After: Monday

The idea of a series of nude drawings came to me last summer, when I was in our Surami cottage with Diana, just before the August War. It was a beautiful morning, and Diana was even more beautiful, lying in the bed, half-awoken and naked, with her long amber hair flowing like a river. Such mornings, after a long night of passion, are always delightful, even if it's raining outside.

Enjoying the breathtaking view, I remembered a song by Lacrimosa, "Der Morgen danach" -- and quite appropriately, because it means "The Morning After." I immediately pictured a series of "morning drawings," made on a toned pastel paper, possibly with sanguine or some other sepia medium. The drawings, as I imagined, had to be seven in number -- one for each day of week -- and the title of the series would be, of course, The Mornings After.

After returning to Tbilisi, we arranged a morning photo-session especially for this project. I took the pictures already in sepia mode, to feel the mood of the series better. Later I picked the seven photos and distributed them among the days of week. Now I only had to find a suitable paper and start working, but that would have to wait until Diana's departure.

Literally the same day as Diana left for Vilnius, the tension in the "South Ossetian" breakaway region reached its peak, resulting in a full-scale armed conflict, with a subsequent Russian "peace enforcing" invasion. Naturally, I had to postpone all my projects, including The Mornings After. Like they say, when the cannons speak, the Muses are silent. And even when the cannons stopped, all I could think of was the informational war against Kremlin and my part in it, as an artist. For many following months, the Politika series, inspired by the August events, was the only art I did.

When finally I was able to return to more pleasant things, like drawing my beautiful girlfriend (presently my wife), I faced another problem -- I simply couldn't find the right paper! I tried many different pastel papers, but they were either too light or too dark, or just the wrong color. For a long time the search was fruitless, until I finally found what I was looking for... in Vilnius, during my summer vacation. CANSON Mi-teintes 340 "Chanvre clair" (that's the brand of the paper) seemed to be just perfect for my needs, so now I finally could begin the series -- a year later after its "conceptual birth."

Firstly, I had to "lay the ground" with a common graphite pencil. On the right you can see the artwork in its preparatory stage, beside the monitor displaying the reference photo from the last year session. Prior to the next stage I had to choose the media -- and I had to do it carefully. As I suspected, my Conté sanguine crayons, used in Her Childish Smile, turned out to be too "vivid" for this particular task, but they still would do as a complementary medium -- especially for hair. Koh-i-Noor's Gioconda 6 sepia leads looked a lot better with this tone of paper, so I decided to trust them the main job, having placed one of these leads into a mechanical holder, especially designed for them (it's very convenient, believe me). For the finer details and darker parts I chose a dark brown pencil from my favorite LYRA Super Ferby series. Finally, I brought in some chalk for the highlights.

The paper I had chosen has two different sides: toothed and flat. It's harder to work on a rough side, but in the end its more rewarding, because it gives those classic "grainy" looks to the drawing. Fortunately, I already had received quite a training in drawing on toothed surfaces with similar techniques, while working on Her Childish Smile, Tamro and The Purple Haze, so I hadn't faced any particular challenges, other than trying to maintain the balance between the chosen types of media. Below you can see the development of the artwork at the later stages.

And this is the finished drawing, named "Monday" -- the first swallow of the upcoming series. Six more to go...

As a bonus, here's a zoomed detail showing the technique more "up close and personal."

That's it for now. Stay tuned for the next "morning after" -- it'll be coming very soon!


Metalliana said...


Natosha said...


Great drawing, great post, great woman :)

Anonymous said...

wonderful artworks! i love it!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful :) love your works

Anna Goguadze

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