Saturday, June 27, 2015

"The Death of Day"

by Eric Fortune

I was invited by The Cotton Candy Machine Gallery to contribute to this years Tiny Trifecta Show.  The point of the show is to do three pieces at 6x6" or smaller all to be priced at $100.  It's a great opportunity for people who want to collect art with a limited budget to get some pretty nice work from some great contributors(if you're willing to camp outside the gallery the night before the opening).

In my mind it's less about making a piece of art that I would value at only $100.  If I did that coming out of school I'd never get better and I'd never get better paying work.   Well, maybe I would, who knows?  In my mind this is about giving people and fans of your work a chance to get some nice art. The size does make it easier to price it so low but I don't like half assing my art work.  Especially if I feel it has a deeper emotional connection or social commentary.  So I chose to do the best I can for this show.  Also, because my color work tends to be very tedious, working at a small scale in black and white with pencil was such a nice break from the norm that I think I'll do some more in the near future.

Today I'm going to be presenting some progress shots.  In a later post I'll show the other two pieces and share a some of what inspired me to make these pieces.

One of these days I'll do better sketches... just kidding.  I refuse.

I usually go from sketch to transferring a final.  Though sometimes it feels appropriate to figure out proportions better.  Probably because I don't often do more well known faces and I don't think doing likenesses is really a strong suit of mine.

Another challenge for me was working from very limited pictures of  Billie Holiday that I could find online and still tweak to fit my composition and style.

"The Death of Day" Final
pencil on paper 6x5"


  1. Amazing little piece. I would like to see this show.

  2. It's absolutely gorgeous! Excuse the newbie question but -how- are you getting the pencil and gradients that smooth? There's no signs of overlapping or anything.

    1. I'm doing multiple light passes with the pencil to build up a smooth gradient. It's a lot of layers and it takes time and patience. I'm starting with an H or HB pencil then moving darker with a 2B or 3B on the darkest areas. If you press too hard with the H pencils you will eventually get a glossy slick surface that won't allow the 2B to really go down on so be aware of that. Take your time, be patient, and lots of practice. Hope that helps some. Thanks for the question.

  3. Lovely portrait! Awesome to see how good you are even only with pencils.