RD Escalona, a young self-taught artist, picked up his pen and sketchbook after some time off, to brush up on his drawing skills during this pandemic. What look chaotic at first glance, with each line seemingly both arbitrary and purposeful, emerge perfectly-detailed, expressive and dimensional images that reveal the order of the randomness behind every stroke.
We invite you to take a look at his impressive sketch book and to get to know more about this 15-year old contemporary artist.
Can you please introduce yourself?
My name is RD Escalona, I am 15 years old, and I have been a self-taught artist for the past one year.
Give us a little background on how you got into art?
I have been drawing for as long as I can remember, and most of my early sketchbooks were filled with different subjects - from simple objects to sceneries. As a child, I really loved drawing. It was last year, however, when I really had the intention of improving on it alongside doing it for fun. By wanting to improve in art, I stumbled upon and appreciated more artworks and more artists, much more than I have ever seen in my whole life. I learned mainly from Youtube tutorials and a large variety of Youtube channels teaching art. It was from those videos that I learned about something called the "Art Fundamentals" - concepts and principles that were key to improving my art. Many styles, although different from each other, incorporated these, and this is when my art journey changed forever.
What medium do you like the best?
I love using Traditional Pen and Ink the most. This is because of its "permanent" nature which means that mistakes can't be erased (unlike with pencils). Because I can't erase marks, it encourages me to become more confident with the lines I make, and helps me accept my mistakes (and also find a way to make mistakes "fit in" with the piece). I also really like this medium because of its versatility. It can be used for several purposes and in different situations from precise lines to detailing to loose drawing.
Where do you get your ideas for your subjects?
Ideas are usually much better formed through a basic understanding of reality. With that, its a mix of observing from real-life, observing fictional ideas/artistic works, and ideas that emerge from my imagination. I have several different sources of ideas, whether its simply for practicing or for actual pieces. For practicing, I usually draw several variations of subjects such as objects (chairs, bottles, cars, etc), scenes, or people. For these, I usually search online mainly through Pinterest or Google for images so I can draw them.
Would you like to pursue this as a career?
Not exactly. I mostly do art for myself and as hobby & skill that I can improve on. I plan on doing art and learning more about it for the rest of my life, even if it isn't my career. Bringing my sketchbook to wherever I go, using art to put down ideas, and as something I can use to know more about the world. I could sell some artworks and accept commissions, but I do not intend on making it my main source of income.
What piece of your artwork would you like to be remembered for?
Currently, the piece of artwork I would like to be remembered for is my most recent piece. It is a realistic drawing of Freddie Mercury and I really enjoyed the process of making it especially because I love listening to songs by Queen. I also tried applying different techniques to the best of my current ability to make the piece more dramatic and realistic.
Photos property of RD Escalona