Friday, 3 January 2014

Nelson Mandela: 
A tribute to our Madiba

525 x 380 mm
Pencil on 160 gsm untextured paper

More or less on the heels of the Einstein Commission, I was asked to do a drawing of Madiba. However before we had even decided on the photo, the legend passed away. Which gave the whole process a very serious air - this had to be more than just an accurate representation of our late president, it was to be a tribute, lovingly rendered and thought upon, with my main goal to capture his compassion.

This was the biggest drawing I'd ever attempted, double my usual A3 size, and as such I was looking forward to it, but also quite nervous. Usually the details are small enough that I can improvise to a degree, but in this photograph every line and pore was there, and had to be accurately depicted. It took more patience than I thought I had, but was very much satisfying in the end!

Guide sketch

The second attempt at the eyes - the first were so nervously drawn that I had to start over, 
wasting the first evening of work completely, and making me quite nervous!


Progress - (the unsightly cardboard added to my easel for stability)
The materials

The apprentice

More or less done with the face, except for final touches

The second attempt at the hair, the first attempt
dutifully erased after another wasted evening of work

Detail (and my favourite part of the drawing, the upper lip)




I struggled to avoid a little smudging while working on the jacket, but only the
guide lines were smudges, none of the final pencil strokes!


(edit) Proud owner Roan van Vuuren after the delivery!

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