Scottish artist Douglas McDougall creates fantastically photorealistic drawings using charcoal as his primary medium but then he textures each work using scalpel blades, sharply cut erasers and coarse sandpaper. The detail to each piece is mind-blowing, especially when it comes to facial hair and weathered skin.
What effect does scratching the artwork create? As he states, “By carving into the paper in a particular way, one can feel the power and the magic and the luck. The face is a mirror of the soul – for better or worse. Portraiture is my way of encapsulating and understanding the ongoing museum of human experience, to show who we really are, body and spirit.”
On his blog, you can read about how his difficult childhood affected his look towards art as an outlet. It’s a heartbreaking story that includes a mentally sick mother. “My mother was afflicted by an acute case of post natal depression directly after giving birth to me, and i was never to bond with her,” he writes.
“At the age of five, I was struck down with a blood disorder that had me in and out of hospital for over four years. It was at the very start of this period when my parents decided to split and my father took me back up to Scotland.To his hometown of Glasgow. By this time my father’s business had spread nationwide, meaning he was now having to travel all over the country, so the job of my upbringing was passed over to close relatives.
“Yes, art kicked in early for me.”