Today, April 1st, marks the first piece of new and original artwork for my planned Friday-Art-Day weekly submissions. Each Friday of every week I will release a new piece of original artwork across many different styles, mediums and concepts. In-between Friday’s, throughout the week, you can still follow along with me as I release interesting facts, photo’s and video’s across my many different social-media outlets. The links can be found here:
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Slots_Art
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/slots_art_studio/
THE TOWER OF PISA – ONE LINE DRAWING – Created over a twenty hour period, this became methodological during a stressful time. When getting the drawing digitized the scanner had a difficult time pixilating such close details as some of the lines are only 1/3rd of a mm apart. This is a piece that you ‘need’ to see in person to truly appreciate it.
You can purchase a print HERE
This isn’t the first One Line Drawing I’ve ever done. You can also find an early working of the concept in my Drawing Gallery depicting the Eiffel Tower and the Blue Water Bridges. However, the idea original came to mind back when I was a kid on a long road trip back home from one of my brothers hockey tournaments in Montreal. I sat in the backseat of our car doodling a cathedral adorned with steeples, statues and stained glass windows. Later I would continue to play around with the idea in my high school sketch book with a simple drawing of a man sitting back on a couch with a lamp beside him. Amateur, but fun!
Once I began to teach again I would have some days where I would scramble for a quick, simple – and fun – lesson for a cover period or art club that would keep the students busy. And, while I’ve entertained the One Line Drawing a few times in classes, I’ve more often than not kept it my own little secret. I’ve had the idea rolling around in my head for close to a decade and a half, and only really just now have I had the time to revisit it.
Teaching in England took up most of my waking life – marking and lesson planning – it was an exhausting experience that gave me little time for myself. I decided that I would force myself to have three hours at the end of every night to take back and do a little artwork. So from 9:30pm to 12:30am I began to draw this picture of the Tower of Pisa.
What you see here is actually my second attempt at drawing it. Originally it took on the more static ‘one line thickness for all’ look that my earlier Eiffel Tower drawing had, and after three hours of work I decided to scrap it and start again. Sure, it looked alright, but it wasn’t what I had in my head for all those years. I knew I could do better and I really wanted to wow people with this drawing. . . I wanted to take it to the next level! And I’m glad that I did, because my contour-line rendering soon became shaded and rounded, and took on a whole different type of dimension and a wow factor.
The static lines soon became thicker and thinner, and I became excited with the notion that I was challenging what a ‘Line’ could actually to be. Can a line grow wider and still be called a line? Sure. Can it become thinner or begin to curve around? Why not? What about sudden stark changes in direction? Can the line begin to take on different shapes? How long does a line have to be before it isn’t considered a line?
This may seem silly, but it was important for me to question these things. Otherwise people might look at my finished product and try to pick it apart
“Well this won’t do, look what he did here, that’s cheating!”
So here were some of the rules I set out for myself: 1) The line can never cross over itself. 2) The thickness of the line cannot extend backwards from the direction it is progressing. 3) There can be no breaks in the line. 4) It must all be completed in ink. 5) I am allowed to take my hand off the page and work on it in increments (of course). 6) I can colour in bold sections where my pen/brush is not thick enough. 7) I can skip ahead and work on multiple areas at the same time – as long as they all connect correctly by the end.
You have to see that some of these rules were created out of necessity. This drawing took over 20 hours to do; my fingers began to blister and my eyes ached from low light levels and focused concentration … I had to take the pen off the page and take a step back from time to time. I’m not saying I couldn’t do this drawing in one go, but the quality of the finished product would lessen and I’m sure I would make mistakes here and there. Fact is, that’s just a silly way to do art – this was a good enough challenge itself and is still an impressive feat.
A challenge that I didn’t foresee is that I drew my details so small that the scanner had a hard time pixilating them at such a scale. If I tried to toggle with the contrast to bring out those tight spaces than other areas of my drawing would create interruptions – like pencil line reflections creating small white flashes or line connections that aren’t actually there.
Why the Tower of Pisa? You know, I’m not too sure. I have a whole list of other world-heritage landmarks that I can’t wait to get to, but there are some that are just so cool and complex that I wanted to start off with something easy. This tower has a lot of repetition in it’s rows of pillars, I figured that if I spent some time figuring out how to do it once that it would be much easier the next hundred or so times that I would draw them. Boy, there really were a lot of pillars! In a way this was still experimental and i hope that the next few that I do turn out to be even better.
So no, this won’t be my last One Line Drawing. I actually plan on doing at least twelve to begin with – each of a different architectural landmark from around the world. I’d like to create prints and postcards and eventually turn them into a calendar too. I don’t think I will stop there either, hopefully there will be a bright future for my One Line Drawings. But I need your help to do so.
I hope you like what you see and that you follow along with me. Bookmark, share and tell others about my artwork, that’s what allows me to do what I enjoy doing – and I do it because I want others to enjoy it too!