Thursday, April 28, 2016

RINGO'S TEETH AND STAN LEE'S FINGERS

Regular readers know that I'm a big fan of Tom Fluharty's sketches.


In an era when quality drawing is under-appreciated, Fluharty's strong, bold, insightful drawings stand out.

So I was particularly pleased when Fluharty announced the release of his splendid new collection of drawings, The Art of the Sketch.  Looking through Fluharty's book, several lessons stand out.

I love this drawing of Ringo Starr:


It looks like it was drawn quickly, like the crack of a whip.  Yet if you look more closely, you note that he paid attention to-- and drew-- each and every tooth individually. 



You don't notice such details at first because Fluharty has the gift to capture them with a vigorous, energetic scribble rather than the painful cross hatching or stippling that many meticulous draftsmen use to capture details. 

The point is not that Fluharty makes highly detailed drawings-- to the contrary, he often ignores major details.

The point is that Fluharty notices such details; when Fluharty has a pencil in his hand, not one feather falls from a sparrow unnoticed.  And from that wealth of observations, he judiciously selects the details he thinks are important.  In the drawing of Ringo,  that smile is the centerpiece and Fluharty apparently felt that those ungainly teeth were worth the additional effort.  We may not be conscious of them, but such details contribute a lot.

You see similar attention in this more finished drawing of Stan Lee.

 

Look at how much imagination Fluharty has invested in those gnarled old fingers still striking the "spidey" pose: 
 

Or check out the wringing hands in this drawing of Hillary Clinton...



In both cases, you can tell that Fluharty decided that hands would be an important part of the story, and went back to add them to his drawing.

This is a fine collection of working drawings, and one that I enjoyed thoroughly.



11 comments:

kev ferrara said...

Absolutely, those hands are exquisite!

MORAN said...

Fluharty's web site is awesome.

Fraser said...

Incredibly expressive. the genius of the eye.

chris bennett said...

Thanks for the 'heads up' on this book David - off to Amazon I go...

john cuneo said...

Oh to possess the hands that can draw those hands. These seem to be a lot of caricaturists for whom anything below the neck is foreign territory. This guys been around.

xavier ghazi said...

Just visited his website and what a discovery. Thank you.

Richard said...

I've always loved the way Mr.Fluharty balances, what seems to me, classicism with a seemingly-Pixar inspired materiality -- bordering on full-out squash and stretch.

E.g. Ringo's going into stretch as his head becomes erect, the radial jitter on Stan Lee's face, the Muppet-y fabric on bone feeling of Lee's hands and Clinton's face, and the Maya-rendering gelatinousness of Clinton's hands.

Yet, all upheld by, at times, a Flemish inspired rendering, or the pencil-work flair and brevity of a early 20th century illustrator.

Quite a virtuosic smorgasbord of call-backs and illusions, but brought together in a way that is totally his own, and quite seamless.

David C. said...

Great hands! But for me, no one drew hands and fingers like Steve Ditko - they were always active and alive and never ignored in each panel.

Alvian Riza said...

Nice post:D love it

Richard said...

Fluharty fans:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BFMIPeukmdu/

Anonymous said...

Fluharty is first class.

JSL