Juan Francisco Casas – Self Potrait - Travel is my favorite Sport

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Juan Francisco Casas – Self Potrait

The artwork is a portrait of a Spanish artist, Juan Francisco Casas himself. The drawing is photorealistic, drawn only with blue point pen. In the portrait, I see a man being goofy, taking a candid shot of his face. In the drawing, he winked on the left side and deliberately wore his spectacles tilted to the right. He is being cheeky in the portrait with his tongue almost rolling out to the left. His hair is pushed back, his stubble is unkempt and wrinkles on his forehead are starting to show. His right eye looks tired to indicate sleepiness.

The visual elements of line and value, are evident in the drawing. If you take a close-up look at the drawing, you can see a series of short, vigorous lines that give the man’s features a surreal looking picture of himself. The techniques he used to create depth and texture are stippling, hatching, cross hatching and contour hatching. These actual lines and implied lines were sketched throughout the entire drawing of his face and clothes, and the high value contrast of blues makes his head “pop”. It is obvious that the chiaroscuro method is used to create the illusion of three dimensions in a two-dimensional drawing by observing the gradual shifting from light blue to dark blue through a successive gradation of tones across a curved surface like his nose and tee shirt. This drawing is a very good example of trompe l’oeil because from afar it basically looks like a rendered picture of the artist in a palette of blues.

The artist includes emphasis and unity as principles of design.The focal point of this artwork is the overly tilted spectacles which the artist strategically placed in the center of the composition to hold the viewer’s interest. The drawing’s composition is also unified visually by the pulsating blues that create his head and shirt. The artwork somehow feels imbalanced judging from the facial expression of the artist and the way his spectacles are weighted on the left. The repetition of the color blue provides a natural rhythm throughout the artwork. The scale of the drawing is proportionate to human dimensions.
The 35 years old Spanish artist was originally a traditional oil on canvas painter, but he started experimenting with the ballpoint pen as a joke, just to see if he could draw something so realistic people would think it’s a photo. It all started seven years ago, when he began reproducing images he takes with his camera, youthful and spontaneous domestic photographs of fleeting moments of fun nights out with his friends. You can only imagine how wild his parties are, as half of his drawings include girls in semi nudity, and he liked it so much that he never gave it up. He even submitted a ballpoint-pen drawing to a national art competition in Spain in 2004 and was shocked to be awarded the second prize. He said: "It's a very serious and academic sort of competition, and I knew they would think my entry was a joke. It was just on a normal piece of paper in biro. The joke eventually turned into a quest to show that “it’s not about what material you use, it’s what you do with it.” The only drawback is that he can't erase any errors. He said: "Mistakes are the main problem. It's better if I make them at the beginning."

At first sight his artworks may look like some pretty sharp blue photographs of ordinary people, however all those pictures are actually hand drawn with a simple Bic ballpoint pen. I am really lucky to come close to an original when I paid a visit the Art Stage Singapore 2010. I was completely blown away by his remarkable workmanship and stayed at the exhibition even longer savoring his artworks. I think he is a talented photographer. His muses are mainly girls he dated or he met at some parties. I notice he uses a lot of water splashing or pouring as a focal point to capture interesting pictures to grasp one’s attention. All in all, the use of ballpoint pen makes Juan’s drawings even more original, which certainly has played an immense role that catapulted his career, and his works are already a sell-out at exhibitions. You can view more of his work at his website www.juanfranciscocasas.com
Juan Francisco Casas – Self Potrait Reviewed by Mak Sin Wee on 3:09 AM Rating: 5 The artwork is a portrait of a Spanish artist, Juan Francisco Casas himself. The drawing is photorealistic, drawn only with blue point pen....

1 comment:

  1. http://www.kolyada.com- Underground, almost forbidden art in Ukraine made with ball-point pen…