Against The Grain
Against The Grain started with a pose captured in a single photograph. I loved the figure, but it was an amateurish flash shot. And I didn't really like the model's expression. Not bad, but not great. I fooled around with it in photoshop but it didn't help much. It sat around for years before I ever began to conceptualize this as drawing. I paired it with another flash shot, where Kandi was looking directly and confidently into the camera. A powerful look.
Using the best elements from four different photographs, I created a digital layout, printed it on sketch paper and traced it with black ink to create an outline sketch. After scanning and printing an enlarged "digitized sketch", the rest was executed by hand and eye.
The theme of the piece is confidence, in the model and myself. After working with Kandi several times, it began to occur to me how much self confidence it takes to be in front of a camera, posing nude. I like the vintage style of the 50s and 60s and she was perfect for the job. Something I've noticed about the difference between vintage and modern pin up is that in most of the vintage shots, the models are usually smiling pleasantly. These days it's much more common for models to look sultry or tough, lot's of "attitude". Once I noticed that, it became apparent that Kandi is smiling in most our photos. So for a change of pace, I used one headshot where the her expression communicates both strength and vulnerability.
The decision to include tan lines was an homage to vintage pin-up posters. The tan lines add extra contour to the model's figure, accentuating her natural curves.
This particular piece is different from others I've created in this vein. Some of my other "pin up" inspired works are satirical by design, but in this piece, it is purely focused on the model and her expression.