As I looked for inspiration for the drawing style I wanted for the graphic novel I came across a African American Woman Studies arthistory textbook of Black female artists. It was titled Bearing Witness: Contemporary Works by African American Women Artists.
I remember the sculpted nature of Elizabeth Catlett’s painting “Sharecropper”, which mirrors the carvings of African American struggle that she is well known for.
The features of the woman in the sharecropper were sharp, strong. The affiminent face had plateus that reveal the round features intersected by sharp chin and high cheek bones. Catlett conceptualized the face as a series of peaks and valleys. She captured the sharp high cheekbones while also portraying the round cheeks of the subject in the painting.
By recreating this iconic image I realized that this sulptured characteristic is what I want to portray in my own drawings. The sense of power the sharcropper has is what I found appealing. Through line and layers, Catlett created a graphic image that speaks to hard work and survival.