Size: 12″ x 18″
Paper: high-quality 130# Sterling
$30.00 – $70.00
|Dimensions||18 × .01 × 12 in|
Size: 12″ x 18″
Paper: high-quality 130# Sterling
Final drawing: “Chris Cornell.” 14” x 22”. Pencil on paper.
This is one of my favorite pieces that I’ve ever created – not only because of the technical execution and level of detail – but also because of the significance of the drawing and how the viewer is invited to experience it for themselves.
What do you see when viewing this drawing? There’s a person looking back at you… what is he thinking? Is he happy? Sad? Content? Troubled? Something else? You, as the viewer, get to derive your own interpretation.
But at the end of the day, this piece was really about honoring a rock legend. His music has impacted so many people – including myself – and I felt compelled to create something special in his honor.
Throughout the creation process I received many fantastic comments, DMs, and emails about this drawing, and several of them came from folks who were close friends with Chris. Without getting too specific, they mentioned that they were impressed with how the drawing was coming, and that Chris would have really liked it, too. That’s probably the best compliment that I could ever receive, and it definitely meant a lot to get feedback from people who knew him so closely.
Although Chris is no longer with us, his music will live on forever. RIP Chris Cornell.
$30.00 – $70.00
|Dimensions||18 × .01 × 12 in|
Getting close! Drawing the blurred background and will then go back through the piece and add more fine detail before calling it complete! Will post the final drawing tomorrow.
Lots of people have been asking about prints of this piece. I will have a small amount of prints available, and the pre-sale is now live on my website (link in bio). They will likely ship within the next week.
Making my way up Chris’ shoulder. I’m really focusing on trying to capture the light, flowing texture of his shirt’s fabric. It’s very easy for clothing to come out looking stiff. Ironically, one of the most difficult aspects of this particular shirt is accurately rendering the flannel lines, but it’s that same pattern that really gives the shirt movement and helps the the viewer perceive the volume and contours of his body.
“The reason there’s no modern day Shakespeare is because he didn’t have anything to do except sit in a room with a candle and think.” – Chris Cornell
Obviously he was exaggerating, but his point is well taken. The act of deliberate practice of the arts is slowly subsiding as technology continues to permeate our society. We now have various devices to keep us busy instead of spending time with our own thoughts and letting our minds wander.
For me, creating art is my time to, well, “sit in a room with a candle and think.” The peace and serenity of being in the artistic flow is incredibly relaxing, and gives my mind an opportunity to slow down think on a deeper level. It’s the time that my best ideas are born, and personal epiphanies seem to happen much more often. The benefits reach far beyond simply creating art.
If you’re not an artist I urge you to set aside at least one hour of uninterrupted time and get lost in your own mind as you create something, anything… and find out for yourself.
“I’m not usually in a talkative mood.” – Chris Cornell
I’m sure most artists can relate to this quote as most of us are introverts my nature. I used to be absolutely terrified by public speaking, and it took a lot for me to break this fear. But, once I finally did, it was incredibly liberating.
So many of us have self-imposed limitations of what we *think* we can or can’t do. Either way, we’re often right. So many people are holding themselves back from experiencing so much in life because of irrational fear and self-doubt.
Give yourself a chance and do something that scares you. You just might surprise yourself with a new-found sense of freedom and confidence.
“In the United States, workouts tend to focus on body image and how you look. For me, it’s really about the brain.” – Chris Cornell
Speaking of viewing the world, I’m drawing the flannel pattern on Chris’shirt and it’s super challenging because of how our mind interprets the fabric. It’s tempting to draw “hard” lines of the flannel pattern, but the shirt is slightly out of focus so that approach won’t look natural.
Instead, our mind perceives all of the lines as slightly “fuzzy” (because our eye is focused on his face, not his shirt) which is the challenge: drawing “hard” lines as “fuzzy” lines while also capturing the wrinkles and contours of the fabric.
But I love a good challenge!
“I’m pretty critical, but I’m also good at letting go once it’s done. There’s this existential argument that comes in, at some point, when you’re over-thinking the songwriting process. There’s no guarantee that the more time you spend or the more you concentrate on certain aspects that that’s going to produce a better result, especially in the arts. Some of the most brilliant things that someone might do could happen in three minutes because it’s something that just occurs to them.” – Chris Cornell
Man, this is so true. I could literally draw on a particular piece forever. Literally, forever. There’s a part of me that says “it’s never finished and I can make it better.” But, as an artist, you just know when your art is complete. I suppose it’s more of internal feeling rather than something unobjectively quantifiable.
But once I decide that the drawing is finished, I move on. That’s it; the end. I know that I’ve created the best possible art that I could at that moment, and I look forward to making the next piece even better.
First look at the whole composition. Just added the first layer of shading to Chris’ hand. Will refine a bit more before moving on to his sleeve.
Building up layers of shading on Chris’ sleeve. Typically I go over each area of a drawing at least four times (often many times more) to capture a wide variety of values. It’s these small, subtle changes in value that make all the difference in hyper-realistic art.
“I’m not a lyric writer to make statements. What I enjoy doing is making paintings with lyrics, creating colorful images. I think that’s more what entertainment and music should be.” – Chris Cornell
This quote really connected with me. Of course art has always had a place in making statements – whether political, cultural, in a religious context – or many other ways, but I also feel like sometimes artist try too hard to make a “statement” with their work. Sometimes the value of a particular piece can be simply helping the viewer momentarily escape their reality by getting lost in your creation.
Their doesn’t always need to be a deep, mystical meaning; sometimes is okay to create art purely for the enjoyment of others.
Refined Chris’ hair and tightened up the detail. It’s tempting to draw strands of hair but, in reality, the eye doesn’t perceive individual strands from a distance. Instead, it’s more about accurately capturing the ever-changing texture that ultimately makes the hair look more realistic.
Adding the first layer of texture to Chris’ hair. The layer is always a bit rough as I’m trying capture the directional elements of the hair before I refine the intricate details. Also, I’ll be adding more fine detail to the texture of his skin.
Refined the details in Chris’ hair a bit more. So many small strands that are seemingly insignificant on their own but, together, they really give the composition movement. I want to make each curl feel light and free flowing; each curl is also unique and really helps bring the drawing to life.
Getting started on Chris’ hair. Drawing hair can be a bit tricky for many reasons. It’s tempting to to draw lots of strands of hair however, in reality, there are very few areas of the hair in which individual strands are visible to the eye. Instead, there are many sections of the hair in which the can can distinguish the texture of hair, but no identifiable strands. This particular piece includes both as well as extreme contrast in light and dark shades. Lots more to come as I continue adding layers of detail to the hair.
I love drawing faces. There’s just so much fine detail that often gets overlooked but, if you can capture them, they can really help tell your artistic story. For example, the wrinkles around the eyes and forehead can help emphasize the feeling of curiosity, pain or wonderment. In fact, even the most subtle change can elicit a different reaction from the viewer.
I’m just about done with adding the first layer of details to the face before I move along to another area of the drawing, but I’ll definitely revisit his face and enhance the details even more to really empathize the emotional aspect of the piece.
We recently lost rock legend (and Seattle native) Chris Cornell. As someone who was born in the 80’s, I was practically raised on Seattle grunge music. Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and, of course, Soundgarden were in heavy rotation on my Sony Walkman. So, needless to say, yesterday’s news was incredibly sad on many levels.
If you’re familiar with Chris’ music then you already know that he has a unique voice with incredible range, a fantastic writer, and an all-around great artist. So, from one artist to another, I thought it was important for me to honor this person who was such a big part of my childhood.
I’m just getting starting on this drawing, but I really want to explore the concepts of depression, isolation, and the pursuit of happiness (I don’t know Chris personally, but I’ve read that had an ongoing battle with some of these demons). A person might have a smile on their face, but you never know the struggles – both internal and external – that they’re facing at any given moment. I really want to capture that notion of “seeing a man’s soul through his eyes” so I’ll definitely be putting a strong emphasis on his eyes as he stares back at the viewer.
But ultimately I want to create a piece that truly honors Chris and the impact he has had on so many people. More to come as I progress through this piece.