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Den Denker

After drawing "The Protector," I realized that I wanted to continue the theme of black and white portraits. I looked online to find some inspiration for my next depiction and stumbled upon my perfect male muse.




Monochromatic vs. Color

I love working on a monochromatic scale! It makes the picture simple, yet elegant. And even though black and white pieces are more straight forward in color scales, the drama is not left out. The simplicity collides with intensity forming the perfect amount of tension.

I did however want to elevate the monochromatic game by adding just one small element of color. I chose a muted color with just enough hue to make a statement, but not too much that it takes away from the overall composition.

The final tango of black and white color creates a piece so special that you’ll feel you’re on one thought provoking ride.

 

Evolution:

What I admire the most about this depiction is that it shines a light on the power of solitude. This drawing is a salute to our internal spirits, signifying that we must give love to our internal beings first and foremost.


Originally, this piece was shaping out to look very different than how it ended.

At first, I wanted my version to display opened eyes. However, when the picture started to take shape, I noticed that by having the eyes opened, the focus was being taken away from the underlying power of Silence.


I made the executive decision to put an eraser to the eyes. It was a tough decision at first, but the second I shut the eyes, the overall tone transformed back into a relaxing, meditative state of mind. "Den Denker" made his final transformation into internal peace.


Fun Fact:

I hadn't realized it until it was pointed out to me, but if you look closely to the right eye, you can see remnants of when the eye was originally open. When I found this out, the piece was already framed and inaccessible to "fix." Either way I didn't want to change it because I saw it as a nod to our inner wisdom. We must honor our most authentic selves; in doing so, our rightful path awaits us. This cool hidden message is just another reason why I love this piece so much!



 

Texture:

I really enjoyed playing around with texture when it came to creating this piece. I wanted to make sure that the dreads seemed rather corse and thick, and that each of their shadows were reflected on the forehead to show depth.

I accomplished this look by simply avoiding the smoothing process of the charcoal! After drawing some lines with charcoal, I usually use a blending stump to smooth out the lines and find my preferred shade of grey. But when it came to the dreads, I realized that the original charcoal stroke left a natural roughness that I was looking for.

When it came to drawing the hands, I was stoked! I love drawing hands. Getting to place the fingers through the dreads was definitely a meticulous process though. It was important that I created some movement throughout the hair. I wanted the viewer to feel like the hands were moving when this was captured, so placement was everything.

 

Inspiration:

The title came to me rather quickly as it was a time where lockdown was at its harshest point. Since lockdown was all relatively new to our communities, we were still figuring out how to cope with this foreign reality of ours.


We were all clearly being tested.

The more conversations about it, the more people I'd observe scratching their heads and looking off into the abyss, trying desperately to make sense of it.

"The Thinker" just seemed like the perfect name as we were at the time, surrounded by endless thoughts, hopes and questions.




It was when I decided to close the eyes that it all came full circle. This is a time where we need to have a moment for ourselves. Maybe in the midst of all this chaos, we can use this pause as an opportunity for some self reflection, some self love and self support.

 

Title Backstory:

I chose to title this piece in Luxembourgish because its origin was right in the heart of Luxembourg. I had just freshly fled the country of France after being stuck in lockdown for nearly two months. We were finishing up a lockdown that had only allowed us to leave the house with a signed and dated attestation (signed permission form to show the police in the event of a check) stating that we were either:

1. Going to the hospital

2. Going to the pharmacy

3. Going to the grocery store

4. Getting some exercise

If you were going on a run or getting exercise, by law, you were only allowed to go as far as 1 km away from your home.

On May 11, the rules had finally let up enough to not cause too much suspicion in making the trek. The borders were still closed, however the new rule allowed us to drive as far as 100 km away. So, naturally, I contacted the local rental car agency, packed up my apartment, and drove to my boyfriend...800 km, and a border crossing away.


Luckily I was able to make the 8 hour trek without a hiccup, though it was quite eerie to only see a couple other cars on the road, also packed to the brim in what I could only guess to respectfully be their home in mirroring nomad hopes and dreams.

I had already started drawing "The Protector" while I was in France, but my boyfriend had mentioned that he wanted to put art up on another wall in his apartment. So I thought of creating another piece and did some research.

The day I left France was a rather nerve racking one. I needed to keep my mind calm and quiet from all the terrible outcomes that could come from fleeing a country. So, it was on the car ride over from France to Luxembourg, crossing borders and white knuckling the steering wheel scanning for police cars that, I brainstormed the concept of Den Denker.


 

Dowd Creatives Signature: As part of my signature, I include coordinates of the location in which that specific piece was created in.

The idea came as I was traveling so much and had painted and drawn in multiple parts of the world. I wanted this nomad component to be a part of the piece's story. As "Den Denker" was created in Luxembourg, its respective coordinates act as a footprint in its creation.


 

Final touches:



*Custom pieces are available upon request*


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