Scratching the Surface

Amazing charcoal drawing by Douglas McDougall (2)

In addition to using charcoal, artist Douglas McDougall uses Stanley blades, sharply cut erasers, and coarse sandpaper to texturally scrape the surface of his drawings. It is “a combination of improvisational actions and controlled decision swings that become a series of crossroads for marking time spent at the drawing board. […] This is all a system that tends to hold a diary of every progressive moment, of each and every day, extending out until the finished piece comes around. Making each of these works very much a wholly personal event. This is a side to my work that is a mirror of me, and I wouldn’t exactly call it a self-portrait. But a lot of these drawings are about working through my own anxiety, and you could say to a greater or lessor degree, that each piece is an autobiographical theatre,” comments McDougal.

More notes from the artist (sent to Illusion via email):

I use a rather heavy cartridge paper with a smooth tooth, 300gsm Snowdon. It is first stretched onto very large MDF panels, and then cut into whichever size is needed. I have 6 of these 10ft x 5ft x 12mm panels lying up against the walls of my studio, which I use as drawing boards. I love the way it bows while working, and the way it reacts under certain applied pressure is very similar to working on canvas stretchers.

Amazing charcoal drawing by Douglas McDougall (4)
Amazing charcoal drawing by Douglas McDougall (1) Amazing charcoal drawing by Douglas McDougall (5) Amazing charcoal drawing by Douglas McDougall (3)
A photo of the artist in his Camberwell studio in 2006.
Artwork © Douglas McDougall
Adriana de Barros

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Adriana is the Webby Award–winning designer and editor of Scene360 and Tat'oo magazine. Acquring 20 years of writing experience in fine arts, Adriana has dedicated her current energy to documenting the lives and work of tattooists. Published on Inked, Skin Deep, Tattoo Life, and other magazines. Follow the author @ Instagram Facebook and view more articles.