The Large Scale Portrait Project is an extension of my on-going series of charcoal portraits featuring people that many of us see everyday. The subjects are taken from our local downtown area - residents and business owners- as a sort of homage to the people working to make a more vibrant and livable downtown area. As more and more of these smaller portraits were created, I desired to experience the effect and power of a portrait that has been monumentalized. This collection of eight large-scale portraits highlight work created within a month period at the VOCA studio.
In working in such a large scale, ladders and a large space became essential. In the creating process, charcoal marks made would have to be viewed from across the gallery to comprehend proportion and effect. The drawing process, itself, also changed from typical small movements to large swooping movements almost like a dance. Building up areas of darkness by scribbling, hatching and smearing helped create an active energy within the portraits. Various shapes of erasers were used as mark makers to create highlights and develop textures. Images were typically built up using layers of these techniques until the desired effect was achieved. Working in a large format allowed for new tools to be used: bristle brushes, fist sized chunks of charcoal and various cloth rags were all utilized as a means for experimental mark making.
I would like thank each of my subjects for trusting me with their likeness for this project. It truly has been an honor. And to VOCA for allowing the use of their amazing space and time to create these works.