Pen & Ink: “Metallica Drawings” by Gord Laws (1999)

I’m really attached to these old drawings I did during my final high-school year at Eden College Craighall in 1999. They were part of my Matric Art Portfolio. There were three in the Metallica series and one of a random face I found interesting.

Gord Laws pen and ink - Matric Porti, 1999
Gord Laws pen and ink – Matric Porti, 1999
Metallica drawing by Gord Laws, 1999. Colour and cross added digitally
Metallica drawing by Gord Laws, 1999. Colour and cross added digitally

One of them I gifted to my dear friend Greg “Gump” Russell. What you see above is a photo of a design I made out of the original using early Photoshop. I added the red colour and the “teenage-angst” cross digitally. The other original drawings I keep tucked away for safety. The original is a lot cooler, I think.

Gord Laws pen and ink - 1999 - "James, Lars, Jason"
Gord Laws pen and ink – 1999 – “James, Lars, Jason”

The technique used is a fairly simple, yet time-consuming one. Using an old-school photocopy machine, I increased the contrast (thus decreasing the fine detail) of the original images. Then, using a glass table with a lamp set beneath it, I painstakingly stippled the detail with a fine-liner.

Large areas of black were slowly, carefully filled in with a fine-tip marker, in tiny circles which avoid the streaking that side-to-side colouring with a marker will cause.

Gord Laws pen and ink - 1999 - "Jason Newsted"
Gord Laws pen and ink – 1999 – “Jason Newsted”

A serious mission. Each drawing can take upward of 12 to 24 hours.  But the outcome can be worth it.