Self-portrait in War Paint #2

A newly completed drawing:

Self-portrait in War Paint #2 (the introvert)

This is the second drawing in the group that I have now titled the War Paint series.   Originally, I was going to call this series Conversations with Goya, but it seemed best to change the name because it is not easy to explain a visceral inspiration and people will inevitably ask "what does the title mean?".  I generally have no problem when it comes to talking about my drawings, but I have found it best to avoid too many explanations when I am dealing with fragile and nascent ideas, particularly while still right in the middle of working on a series of drawings.   My hope is to go with the flow of inspiration and not question the meaning too much or  it may become stifled.   I will formulate the words to explain it all the meantime, I make the pictures.
This drawing is also 18  x 17 inches, graphite on Arches hot press watercolor paper.  I may embellish all of these when the third drawing is finished - I really won't know until I have them all completed, lined up against the wall in the studio, and I can stare at them for a few days.  For now, it is finished.
Some detail photos:
I am rather happy with the hand in this portrait.   I draw a lot of hands, and it can be frustrating to get the anatomy correct, but this one came out effortlessly and with near structural perfection which makes me a rather blitheful artist (as opposed to banging my head on the drawing board and cursing because of irritation with working and reworking anatomy - which happens more often than I care to admit).   I strive for the clarity of Zurbarán or Pontormo - or any other Mannerist that relishes in the histrionics of hand expressions.  So, it is nice when the drawing effortless pops out every now and then. 
A moment to contemplate Jacopo Pontormo, master of hands:
I have taken a pause from the War Paint series, and I have another unrelated drawing nearly complete:  this one involves a three-dimensional space cut out within the center of the drawing - a bit like a tunnel book*** - and it requires careful planning and accurate construction so that all of the layers (which are separated by 1/8 inch acid free foam core) line up properly.  I have not tried this before, and am winging it a little plus making sure that everything is well attached, etc.  I have no idea how the whole thing will look until it is together (but it works quite nicely in my head!).  Hopefully I can have it assembled and photographed next week. 

***I would not know a tunnel book from a diorama if it were not for the fact that there is a magnificent local book arts group that has an annual exhibition at the Pierro gallery - so, once a year I go to their show and I am totally inspired - because I share their passsion for paper and what it can do - and for a few days I think that I want to make books, but this passes & I get back into my drawings.

So - onward in the studio - and, by the way, I am so glad it is Spring!  I am thanking the weather gods for the blissful sunshine over the Garden State that has allowed me to fling open the studio windows and breathe some fresh air  (although the garden itself can be quite a distraction from the studio...)