I love serendipity – I’ve just started reading the catalogue that accompanies the Chuck Close exhibition I saw last week and there in the introductory essay is Close being quoted on crosshatching. The comment is in response to Close’s early study of Albrecht Dürer’s prints that are held in Yale University’s fine print collection.
“In those Dürer prints I saw that the artist had done what was easiest for him. He glued a piece of paper to a woodblock and drew with a pen. The easiest way to draw tonal gradations with a pen is to make a crosshatch stroke. The hardest thing for a printer who must follow the artist’s drawing to do is cut a crosshatch, because you have to go in and cut out the little spaces in between. If Dürer had to cut his own block, he would have made only one crosshatch drawing and then said, “Hey, wait a minute, what am I doing? I have made something so difficult” He would have immediately abandoned crosshatching. But because other people cut the block he could go ahead and draw whatever he wanted, and it became their problem.”
This makes me think that further variations of the water tank drawing could involve using techniques that could be printed in various formats. By looking at the water tank over the course of the day I have realised that I can use the shadows cast onto the tank can help me define it’s shape, without resorting to cross-hatching. Here is the second drawing, which I did a few days ago using my Lamy Safari pen.