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Brandon Reclining by donavanneil Brandon Reclining by donavanneil
2014, 16" x 20", Charcoal and chalk on Canson mi-teintes drawing board.

I used a reference (a photograph I shot).

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and at

© Donavan Neil

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encando Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2018   General Artist
He's beautiful
You've rendered the skin really sensitively and it gives it pearly effect that's really nice 
Andyboomerangablanca Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
donavanneil Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2017  Student General Artist
GSMarischal Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Lovely. Have you seen the film "The Danish Girl"? The pose and feel of this remind me of some of the artworks in that film. Outside of that, the tattoos have a depth that makes them look almost carved into the skin. I really admire anyone who can do this kind of work, I never developed that skill. This is real art!
donavanneil Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2017  Student General Artist
I did this back in 2014 or so, before I'd seen the film, but yes I have! I love it. I'll take that as a compliment! :)

The tattoos were so tricky, as charcoal on a board with so much tooth is hard to control -- a bit like drawing with chalk on pavement (everything is crumbling and shifting and so hard to get to behave)! haha I wasn't completely happy with the results, but I appreciate your kind words very much. Thank you! :heart:
GSMarischal Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
It most definitely was a compliment! I like the art from that film...probably better than the genuine articles that they represent.

I've never tried to work with chalk or charcoal (other than for a rough sketch for the Almanata Hex painting, which if I'm honest with myself looks more like an underpainting than a painting proper, but for a first effort in that style of painting I wasn't too displeased with it.) I'm afraid I mostly stuck with regular old mechanical pencils until I started doing my pigment liner doodles. I did find the charcoal a bit imprecise on the canvas for basically the same reason...too much texture compared to regular old paper.
donavanneil Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2017  Student General Artist
Well, thank you! I haven't seen the art it's meant to represent. Worth following up on?

I also see what you mean about underpainting. I think monochromatic artwork can be great, and I think your painting is definitely great for a first effort with your materials, but I get what you mean. I usually go with a pretty warm underpainting, though -- lots of burnt umber. I tent to paint with cool colors (I like blues a bit too much) so having a warm base helps offset that. haha

I did try drawing on canvas with charcoal when I was younger. Hated it. It's crazy, though, how some artists can make tools and media sing that I can't figure out at all. I was just thinking the other day that I might order a bunch of the mi tientes board and do some portraits again. Just talking about it makes me wanna do it. :D

What are you working on/with at the moment?
GSMarischal Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh lately I got sucked in by the lure of fluid painting. I've been following a youtube artist from Montreal, MelyD, whose work I just love, and practicing getting cells without resorting to adding silicone to the paints. Once I get it down I figure I can incorporate it as backgrounds for decorative abstracts. I sold a couple of my earliest efforts that didn't even get many cells, so that was fun, and helped pay for more supplies...pouring medium and varnish to be precise. I didn't do much of anything over the summer for a number of reasons...including the fact that I was simply running out of space to keep my paintings, and the process of letting them sit to cure, varnish, dry, varnish again etc pretty much takes over the kitchen...much to my housemates' dismay. I did 4 fluid paintings in the past week or so, 3 still in process of having finishes applied, the 4th still curing and yet to be properly photographed (this evening's job) before clear coating and varnishing it...Oh, and added more artwork photos to my fb page.
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Submitted on
June 17, 2016
Image Size
4.2 MB


80 (who?)

Camera Data

Shutter Speed
1/23 second
Focal Length
4 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Oct 30, 2015, 3:06:08 AM
Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Windows)