Number 18- AFRO XX
This piece comes from my AFRO SERIES, a series which I am still currently working on. This series emphasizes the beauty of natural black hair.
I can clearly remember I met a lovely lady, during a weekend in the winter of 2008 and she had a nice looking Afro, not the kind you'll always see. I looked once and twice....then got the courage to ask if she'll like to be in my current series.....She agreed! I had to take pictures of her and that was sufficient, there was no room for sketching as the occasion wasn't the best for that, it was her dad's birthday and everyone was busy having fun.
AFRO XX, 10" x 8", Coloured Pencil/Sanguine Dust, 2008
This work comes as part of the 40 because after I completed the drawing-there was something about the her face that made it seem as if she was about to speak-an alive kind of feeling, somehow in this portrait, not only the hair got the emphasis but something a little bit more deeper- I always believe the mood is best captured by the mouth. I am not always able to get the inner spirit of those I capture and when she saw it she affirmed it too. This one seemed to evolve through the ghosting technique I used in the initial stages of the work. This was done with ghosting the sanguine dust on a self sanded watercolour paper. Then different tones of browns, reds and orange coloured pencils were used to bring out tones and details. I also added my calligraphic writing marks in the background.
"If you are into portraits, you'll often meet people everyday who are what I call, "dream models"- These are the people one would love to paint or draw all day long. But if you just allow them to pass by, the experience is lost forever. Sometimes a sketch would do, sometimes the meeting might be too brief and you'll just need to take risk and ASK politely-The worst case scenario would be a "NO" but often times it's a "YES"- and if a yes, they may allow you to sketch, take a picture, book a sitting or two and in the end, those are the kind of works that become treasures because they come from the soul of the artist- they are something you really wanted to do, far from the commission type of thing-so TAKE A PLUNGE, GIVE IT GO, BECAUSE YOU'LL NEVER KNOW!" -Adebanji Alade