First sneak peak of blue Biro tattoo drawing in progress on my tiger sculpture … it’s the hardest surface I’ve drawn on to date!
I sculpted the tiger figurine using air-drying clay and it stands one and half feet in height. Inspired by ancient statues and icons, representationally its form echoes ancient and prehistoric art and our need to express the world around us, a world tigers have existed in for over 1.8 million years longer than humans. The sculpture also symbolises the beauty and cultural significance of humanity’s ancient art heritage, which often depicted imagery of wildlife.
In preparation for the blue Biro tattoo and in order to replicate ancient statues I painted the tiger sculpture white rather than give it a contemporary finish. However painting the sculpture creates a textured surface of tiny brush marks, leaving it extremely hard to draw on. But equally the Biro settles over the brush mark grains and forms spontaneous patterns within the drawing
When drawing in Biro your brain adjusts to predicting when the Biro is likely to blot. I use a blotting sheet to remove ink-blots periodically from the nib before continuing drawing. The predictive response working on this surface is lessened as Biro blots more indiscriminately on an uneven surface.
With humanity’s cultural heritage in mind the face of the Hindu deity in the tattoo design is significantly layered with a traditional Hindu icon painting and an image of a human face, yet to be revealed! The culminating face celebrates our multi-cultural world and our natural and artistic legacy. The use of an illustrated face layered with a photograph of a real human face retains an animated quality seen in iconography combined with realism.
Note the optical illusion within the face where the layering of the two faces create a sense of movement around the eyes and mouth area.
This piece has been made in solidarity against the destruction of wildlife and ancient art.
Much work to do! Watch this space for further updates on progress and the subject matter behind the drawing.