A Short Historiographic Elucidation

Next, I started to write, er, draw, er, write… 🤔 a little historiographic elucidation of Clive’s existence. How had he come to be where he was in life? What even was the course of his life? The project was a highly stylized, wispy, hazy type of thing. A retrospective. I won’t reproduce the entire thing here, but I’ll show you the first one, of which I was really quite proud at the time.

The drawing is a response to the question, ¨If you could remember your birth, what would it look like?” I imagine that the first thing you’d see at your birth, if you could register it, would be the nurses, watching you emerge from your bodily cocoon, ready to grab your head, smack your po-po, check your vitals, and send you on your way. Of course, your eyes were probably not up to much in those first moments – blurry vision, etc, and time adds another layer of mystery and obfuscation, wrapping the world and your memories of it in an even more hazy and uncertain mist.

This was definitely an inspired drawing – I saw this in my mind long before I picked up the stylus. This is one of those cases, though, where I got to feel some pretty strong gratification at the result. Hey – look back. It’s just about as close to ‘art’ as I had come in that first year. Heck, it’s just about as ‘artsy’ as I’ve been able to get in the four and half years since! So, needless to say, I was quite pleased.

As a stand alone piece it doesn’t seem to mean anything, but in the context that I’ve given you I hope you like it.

I like this next one, too. For a long time I’ve been interested in the supernatural. Ever since my kidhood I’ve had experiences that strongly inferred a spiritual plane. You can believe what you like, but I have no doubts. Anyway, I’ve watched a few of those ‘ghost hunting’ shows over the years – not because I believe them, particularly, but because I believe that in every investigation there’s the potential to learn something probative about a very interesting subject.

In this piece the ghost hunters are in the KerDoodle environment. They’ve heard something and the KerDoodles are there, lamenting that people are more ready to believe in ghosts than in KerDoodles. I mean, ‘whaddup wit dat, homes?!

You can see that the imagination is starting to match the delivery. It’s still fairly early on – 2018, but the way I handled the environment in this one is really starting to show some deliberation. There’s depth here. There’s a real sense of the up-close, and the far off. The ghost hunters are suggested by the lights in the distance – I didn’t have to attempt to actually draw humans to make this work. They are a part of the equation here and I for one like how they present.

Around that time I really started figuring out how to work with light. Light gives any subject life – it adds to, and takes from, the subject so that it shows in a unique way. You can see that I’ve learned, by this time, that erasing part of a dark layer ‘reveals’ the subject behind in a very effective way that creates mystery.

Here, for example, a KerDoodle is holding a candle in the dark – revealing his face in a pitch-black environment. There’s fear there – or at least concern. Who knows what nasty little surprises await him in the dark? In retrospect I think I could have brightened up the area near the candle a bit more, but… learning curve.

You’ll notice the ‘dark reveal’ more often as we go forward from here. I found it a very effective, artsy-fartsy way of creating mood in a drawing. Of course, I don’t go dark all the time, only when it’s called for, but it’s nice to know that the technique is there when I need it.

Like in this next one. This was definitely ‘inspired’. I was driving the school bus by this time and my daily interactions with the kids on board did provide a few KerDoodle ideas, and this was definitely one of them.

I told you earlier how most of my KerDoodles, when they needed a name, became Clive. I’m not sure why, but for some reason this fellow became Wendal instead. The name, of course, is not the important thing. Identity is important, but the actual name is not. I saw him before I drew him. He’s smiling and waving at the kids, and for some reason they’re scared of him. Care to guess what that reason is? It could have something to do with the shadow he’s casting. That’s a pretty terrifying shadow – even to me!

I’m quite pleased with this as another experiment in the use of light and shadow. Somehow, don’t ask me how, I drew that shadow behind him in only one take! It’s smooth and actually fairly accurate, and even at the time I remember I was quite pleased with it. Yup, he’s still naked. But that’s natural, and you have no reason to worry. You will never, ever, see a KerDoodle’s doodle.

Tomorrow… some rapid-fire, and a bit of a Russian doll.

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