a farm hand from the Great Depression


Back before i started i.d. a was dabbling in illustration/animation, but never pursued it cuz i wasn’t up to par and lacked the self confidence to think i could make it into the program (SJSU has one of the best illustration/animation programs, as their graduates go on to work for ILM/Pixar/Disney/EA Sports/etc)

I took their intro to illustration class with one of the greatest instructors ever, John Clapp. He taught us 3 things that we would take to our graves: 1) Contrast is the meaning of life 2) Shadows are your friend 3) When in doubt, squint…

The following was one of my main projects, a photorealstic sketch using only dense charcoal and rubber kneaded eraser…we used a subtractive process where you start with a black base and then erase out the rendering, playing with contrast tone…I struggled so hard with this project and my final (a self portrait), as well as life drawing in general…

Some background on the photo i referenced, i forgot who the photographer was but i think was taken during the Great Depression of a farmer or field worker, he was blocking his face with his worn down hand, probably embarassed and distraught…i never finished this rendering, it was one of those work in progress projects, i gave it to my sister…

farmer-from-depressionfarmer-from-depression-eyesfarmer-from-depression-earfarmer-from-depression-handfarmer-from-depression-hand-close

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    • dancrlo
    • August 30th, 2009

    Nice work Jon. For me, these reductive drawings are the hardest to pull off, since I am so used to working by adding shadow instead of adding highlight. Good work on this. The farmer’s deep recessed black eyes and somber expression gives this rendering that feeling of eeriness and depression which the feeling for that era.

  1. Beautiful!

    • alessandrocayetano
    • August 31st, 2009

    how did you scan this without gunking up your scanner? fixitive?

      • joncorpuz
      • August 31st, 2009

      I just took a photo…its freakin huge like 3.5 ft x 1.5 ft…i don’t think i ever sprayed fixative on it cuz i was supposed to finish it 6 yrs ago

    • faris elmasu
    • February 1st, 2010

    this is truly amazing Jon! so much emotion

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