Artist's Commentary: Voice of the Wind

I often tell people that while I don't embrace realism as an aspect of my work, I have no objection to it. In the case of this work, going closer to a realistic finish was driven by the emotional connection to the expression. My grandmother had recently passed away at the time, and in pagan terms, her voice would now be heard on the wind.

In graphite, mood is often best translated through the romantic monochromatic tones, but I also wanted the sensation of movement in the textures, and the softness of light over heavy detailed contrasts. Death, in my mind, is without the fine lines that we walk during life, where the context of existence reigns in ethereal terms, not corporeal definitions.
For this, I layered the graphite, and then used a kneadable eraser to draw in the softer highlights around her headdress and cloak. This kind of 'tampering' was always frowned upon in my art training, and considered 'less skillful' than rendering light with the pencil alone, but I could envision no other method to successfully create the airbrushed effect that I wanted. Modern artists and critics are less concerned these days with such technical snobberies, yet it did concern me for a time.

Related Links: Voice of the Wind on Red Bubble