Else Grant’s blog is a love letter to those hirsute of face, featuring intricately drawn portraits (including one of a particularly appealing cat). TWENTY6 commissioned her to produce a special illustration in honour of the new ‘B’ issue and here she tells us about the inspiration behind her work.
Why men's beards?
Every morning on my way to work I walk past a Turkish barber, and I love watching the way customers have their facial hair sculpted with an old fashioned cut throat razor. This same barber has a really colourful pet parrot that looks more like a bird of paradise. I like to think of men twiddling their moustaches and beards as a bit like birds of paradise ruffling their feathers...
Where do you get your inspiration?
Everywhere, from friends with stylised beards to old guys on the Tube! I also draw inspiration from 18th century etchings, such as the work of Goya.
How do you work?
I only use a 0.05 drawing pen. I start by drawing with a series of dots, then work over areas to build up layers and create shading, avoiding heavy lines. I jumped at the chance to create a ‘beardyman’ for TWENTY6, and studied various men to see how the hairs might curl to create the wording. I enjoyed it so much that I am going to work on how long facial hair could create wording for my next drawing!
Follow Else on elsegrant.tumblr.com
WORDS / ISABELLA BRUCE