Being in museum M in Leuven I also had the chance to see a nice overview of the drawings from the American graphic novelist and illustrator Charles Burns. I have seen some of his comic books before which I borrowed from the library. Not always that appealing; horror without any doubt, but having a closer look to his drawings in a bigger context – even covering a wall of about 8 meters long – I do find his work quite impressive. It’s the way he draws hatches as texture in facial expressions, hair and other small details. It’s obvious he has a lot of experience, it takes a lot of practice to come to such an evolved style.
I do recognize his early influence by MAD magazine and the cartoons from R. Crumb, of which I read some myself. What I most appreciate is the black & white drawings as in these you do clearly see the structure and hatches. It was also shown in this exposition how Burns did evolve his drawings and it did take him quite some sketches to get to the eventual result… Maybe too polished after all?
Another cartoonist for this kind of hatched cartoons is of course Frank Miller, which most of us do know as a film director, but maybe I drift of too polished and commercial? Although I did read and really like most of his cartoons! As an opposite to this I can highlight the more rough and spontaneous: Raymond Pettibon. What might define spontaneous and rough art is that you know the artist makes an instant well drawn or painted piece of art or composition. Not perfectly polished, but very personal, a true personal style. Is this ability – which does require quite some practice or talent – more valuable than working for a long time on a certain painting or drawing to come to a ‘perfect’ result? Just for your comparison to think about this issue: