After drawing the miniature versions of men with beards I decided it would be interesting to explore them in a much larger format, but keeping the shapes simple and graphic. As I drew them, I found that my focus was drawn to the men’s eyes, and the beards became almost peripheral, although their moustaches remained an integral part of defining the character in each face. Too much detail of clothing, or even hair became unnecessary, so I put in just enough to anchor the face down without distracting from the main objective.
As I worked, I was surprised at the difference from the miniature versions, which are much more complete portraits, I feel these are more about capturing emotion – and this has turned out to be quite dark, no smiles.
The main tool I used was a Pentel Brush Pen, which makes wonderful, sweeping, almost calligraphic marks, and can be controlled to make marks as fine as a hair to a heavy, thick brush stroke. The shadow detail was made using an extra fine Rotring Art Pen for consistent fine hatching. Each drawing is roughly 33 x 25 cm.