Thursday, September 24, 2009

Still Life with a Mirror

On a rainy day of my summer vacation in Vilnius I was sitting at Diana's desk, thinking of what to draw. I had my Red Folder with me, where I keep my unfinished drawings, but I wanted to start something new. I was on the edge of frustration, when I incidentally looked at Diana's mirror and was struck by a sudden idea.

I asked Diana to look into the mirror, so that I could catch her glance. That was it! I took a probe shot and started to polish the idea further. I needed to clean up the scene and leave only what was necessary, making it more minimalistic. But I also wanted to bring in some "conceptual elements" that would help convey a certain mood. And that would be a lipstick and a ring.

Diana doesn't wear lipstick, but she still has one. As for the ring, I decided to use something plain and classic. My concept required an evening setting, so I dimmed the window and turned on the table lamp. The next task was to arrange all the objects according to the unwritten rules of any still life composition: looking good together, but with a certain degree of natural randomness.

Now that I had all four elements (the lamp, the lipstick, the ring and the mirror itself) in place, I needed to get the most important, but elusive "fifth element" -- Diana's face in the mirror. After some intensive trial and error, I was finally able to catch her reflection exactly the way I was looking for.

All set, I started to draw using my detailed technique, which takes much time. Naturally, I wasn't able to finish it in one day, and since my vacation was nearing its end, I only had time to do some initial work on the basic elements. Still, it was a start.

I had a pile of work waiting for me when I got back home, as it usually happens after vacation, so I was able to continue the drawing only about a week ago. I finished it yesterday, scanned and sent to Diana, as I always do -- she's my first audience (besides, it was her face in the mirror, after all). She liked it very much, having commented that the "life" in the picture isn't exactly "still," which is definitely a good thing. So here it is, (Not So Very) Still Life with a Mirror, all finished...

I like still lifes that don't just represent some carefully arranged objects, but also tell a small story. Hopefully, Still Life with a Mirror has one of such stories to tell. In my perception, it's about a woman who's getting ready for an evening, planning to go out with her beloved. And if she happens to be your woman, it's a great feeling when you catch her glance in the mirror, as she smiles at you, as if saying: "Aha, you like what you see, don't you?"


Metalliana said...

Great work and nice story. Rezo I've already told you: if you weren't an artist, you'd be a writer :2kiss:

"fifth element" :lol: :givi:

Anonymous said...


Eugen Caitaz said...

Very cool idea!!! I like your blog!!!

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