Charcoal Portraits by Douglas McDougall

Scottish artist Douglas McDougall creates these photorealistic portraits using charcoal and textures the paper using scalpel blades, sharply cut erasers and coarse sandpaper to add further detail to his black-and-white portraits.

"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."

"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."

"Each piece is like an oracle of thought, a kaleidoscopic journey into a past, present and future. I feel it's honouring the tradition of drawing, bringing those early cave paintings or hieroglyphics into a modern synthesis."

"At times this work almost makes me feel like I'm personally waking the gods, and they really do have to virtually be brought into a breathing reality. This is why I tend to push for a hyper-real result, and by using certain tools like Stanley and scalpel blades for sculpting/texture and highlighting, it helps create a kind of 'trompe l'oeil' illusion of form."

"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."

"For me the medium of Charcoal holds a double headed dynamic. It packs an old world feel to it that allows me to plug in and play with the terms of its historical theatrical elements, or ghosts of the past. It also provides a stunning foundation and plenty of room for the contemporary immediacy of it all. When I'm in the zone it's like having a black key to my own time machine. I reckon this must make me a charcoal obsessive compulsive adventurer."


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