There is a style of drawing, that you may see with some frequency on the web, that involves photorealistic rendering in pencil of images from photographs. It is often practiced by people with little or no professional training and, while I find that admirable, there is sometimes an accompanying lack of focus, finesse and artistic judgement.
The graphite drawings of Brian Boulton, on the other hand, are an exception. His current series of drawings is rendered in detail and is the result of close observation, but Boulton’s command of texture, value and compositional emphasis puts the rendering in the service of his artistic vision, well beyond the realm of mere photorealist representation.
His figures are most often turned away from the viewer, inviting us to grasp the figure as a human form, but without the obvious point of focus of a face with which to interact. The result is a different point of view, that of an unseen observer.
We are invited to see textures of cloth and leather, hair and areas of skin as surfaces, materials as well as forms. The details of folds in the clothing, essentially in the lineage of drapery in classical compositions, are presented with the kind of importance usually given to surfaces in still life drawings.
Boulton is based in Vancouver. He studied architectural rendering at the College of New Caledonia, in British Columbia and Film and Art History at Langara College in Vancouver.
The original concept for this series of drawings began in a previous series, “10 Drawings“, completed in 1999. Boulton returned to the subject, and expanded on it, in 2008 and 2009, and in apparently continuing to explore the approach.