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Julie Meyers
The Mysterious Drawing

graphite & charcoal
24″ x 18″

@jmkmeyersart
USA

Clara Lieu, RISD Adjunct Professor

Clara Lieu

Art Prof & Partner

Alex Rowe, Illustrator & Children's Book Artist

Alex Rowe

Teaching Assistant
Illustrator & Children’s Book Artist

Lauryn Welch, Painter & Performance Artist

Lauryn Welch

Teaching Assistant
Painter & Performance Artist

Artist Statement
“This drawing was completed for an advanced drawing class. The assignment was called ‘Density,’ and the challenge was to make a drawing with objects that weren’t fully realized.

An eraser was a key component to it, just as much as a pencil was. My drawing was obviously inspired by Jules Verne and I wanted it to have a heavy feeling, as if you were underwater and viewing an aquatic scene.”

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3 responses on "Julie Meyers"

  1. There are some great textural moments in this piece, very ambitious scene. You’ve really captured a serene and almost dreamlike mood through the silky treatment of the charcoal.

    It would be great to see the same focus you applied to the octopus into the environment- like the bubbles. You have these three stark light studies in the piece and the rest is a dark gradient. I would love to see that underwater lighting touching every nook and cranny of the scene. Personally I found it challenging to create underwater lighting like ripples. When a client suggested it- I was very nervous but what really helped me was viewing underwater scenes in films. (Unfortunately i didn’t have a nearby aquarium to visit) Viewing how the lighting interacted with environment was inspiring. The Pixar team found it challenging too when they created Finding Nemo.
    Embarking on more underwater experiments would really challenge you to focus on an entire scene and less on a few elements. Move around through your paper like the lighting and subjects do in the water.

  2. You have so much energy in how you’re working with charcoal/graphite and the marks your making! I can really see the excitement you had while making this piece through your strokes, which makes me excited to look at it!

    I would encourage you to explore the relationship between light and water further, perhaps at an aquarium like Alex, Lauryn and Professor Lieu suggest! The area in which the light is breaking though the surface of the water and hitting the kelp (top left) is so mesmerizing. I wonder if some of these light streaks would also cross on top of, or behind, the kelp, rather than solely forming a halo around it? Exploring light may also help you create a greater sense of depth and space in this piece. Perhaps we would see light streaks very faintly in the distance, behind the ship, giving us a sense of how large this body of water really is. These light rays could even act as a compositional element, helping draw our eyes around the page. Who knows, the possibilities are endless! I would definitely encourage you to find all that this rich relationship could provide you with!

    Great work creating a piece so full of energy and life! I can’t wait to see what’s next!

  3. It’s exciting to see someone experiment with charcoal in this way! You capture so many different textures in this image, and give us such a nice range of values to enjoy.

    Speaking to Alex’s point, I think you could push that value range even further to give us more of a sense of depth, as well – as that’s really what I most associate with underwater imagery. In this drawing I don’t have as clear a sense of that immense depth, and in particular I’d like to see you put more intention into resolving the relationship between the squid that is so much the focal point and the ship on the right of the composition.

    In addition to building up those really dark shadows, I would also suggest having the different elements of the piece overlap more. This composition feels a bit segmented, as is, and some overlap would also clue us into the way in which you are (or are not) playing with scale. When I think of Jules Verne I think of giant squids, but in this drawing it’s not clear to me how big that squid truly is… Your handling of the tentacles is so awesome, just think how much more impactful they would be if those striking, subtractive shapes overlapped with the dark shapes of the seaweed at the bottom of the ship!

    You have an excellent grasp on the medium of charcoal, and in particular how powerfully subtraction and erasure can be used to create contrast and recreate lighting. Keep it up!

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