Thursday, September 22, 2011

Charles Gibson Fail #1

I have decided to start a recurrent series here on my blog. The series will be entitled "Fails" and will essentially document the process of me trying to learn something from the draftsmen I respect the most.

In order to practice and learn, I periodically attempt to copy drawings from artists that impress me. Now, however, I am going to be making this process public by posting both my drawings as well as images of the originals I was copying.

I must be clear, by me posting my own drawings alongside that of these masters, I am in NO WAY equating myself with them. On the contrary, the reason I am calling the series "Fails" is because that is exactly what I do every time I attempt to copy a master drawing. I am actually swallowing my pride extensively in posting my drawings, because I am ashamed after trying such exercises by my lack of proficiency.

So, all this being said, this series will be an act of humility on my part, but I hope at the same time interesting for you. It is am aim to be honest about my lack of abilities, that I might A: be more comfortable with who I am as an illustrator, and B: learn something and improve my deficient abilities.

Enough explaining, onto the first drawing in the series, which you will see posted at the top of the page. One of my absolute favourite pen & ink artists is Charles Dana Gibson who was a true wizard with the nib.

The first image on this post is my attempt at copying a section of Gibson's drawing entitled "Reading the Will" (which is the second image). You will quickly see the lack in quality in my drawing compared to his. Apart from the proportional differences and flaws, my drawing has none of the subtlety that Gibson has in his pen strokes. In his drawing it is almost as though he is painting with the cross-hatched lines, creating a warmth that is lacking in my drawing.

Seeing as this blog post is already longer than I intended, I will stop short with my comparisons this time and simply deem my drawing a resounding FAIL.

Expect more failed drawings soon...


  1. Bravo! Very inspiring to 'put it out there'.

  2. Thank you, Vincent.

    It is significant for me to hear you say that.

    I hope all is well with you.