I finally got my hands on charcoal, been wanting to try it for quite a while. This is my first sketch using charcoal of various sizes, stump and kneading eraser. Super excited! as this is also my first time using all these materials. Using charcoal is messy but that adds to the freedom and therapeutic feel of doodling with it. Think I'm in love with charcoal :)
The photo reference I got was from "L'Autre" by Jean Baudrillard, which I picked up from the library only because it has many potraits that I can use. But upon returning home and reading the write up in the book, it turn out to be a hidden gem.  
"I stole these photographs between '95 and '97 in the Paris metro. 'Stole' because it is against the law to take them, it's forbidden. The law states that everyone owns their own image. But our image, the worthless alias of ourselves, is everywhere without us knowing it. How and why can it be said to belong to us? But, more importantly, there's another rule, that non-agression pact we all subscribe to: the prohibition against looking at others. Apart from the odd illicit glance, you keep staring at the wall. We are very much alone in these public places and there's violence in this calm acceptance of a closed world. I am sitting in front of someone to record his image, the form of evidence, but just like him I too stare into the distance and feign absence. I try to be like him. It's all a sham, a necessary lie lasting long enough to take a picture. If to look is to be free, the same holds true for photographing: I hold my breath and let the shutter go."
Jean Baudrillard, L'Autre
Taking the train is a shared experience of city dwellers and we actually spend so much time in these small contained world where, as strangers, we are so close yet so far apart. Aptly portrayed in Postmodern Singapore that I'm currently reading:
"Why do you not look at each other's Faces? Is the scenery that arresting, One housing estate giving birth To yet another copy? Or the advertisements, read and re-read, As if behind a slogan's promise lay Hidden promises? Answer me:Is that consciousness rising in you, Dissolving your fatigue like a plastic sheet Warping in heat, or is that simply  Sleep, draining away from you Down to your soles, to the invisible tracks Where the dew is drying? Where electricity Is what pushes you to the borders Of your own loneliness, against The vulgar loneliness of crowds."
Alfian Bin Sa'at, Morning Train, Postmodern Singapore


  1. Anonymous14/9/10 20:42

    I love how you make her hair come alive, the natural whorls suddenly now more gleaming and kinetic. Even the eyelashes seem to move, as if you intended to capture their minuscule flutter. In the photograph, the woman is asleep; in your charcoal rendition she is dreaming.

  2. wow! Thanks really for the encouragement!! Haha... really glad that you like the drawing. But truth be said after I posted it on my blog and I looked at it again it kind of appear a bit creepy to me haha... coz usually we see pic or photo with their eyes open.