Saturday, September 4, 2010

WONG Chau Yin(Filia) ChuckClose's FingerprintII1978


•What is the title of the drawing?


•What is the name of the artist?

Chuck Close

•What is the year the drawing was done?

In 1978

•What is the medium? (ie the materials used to produce the picture, for example charcoal on paper, pen and ink etc)

There are lots of fingerprint on the paper.

•What is the subject matter or general theme of the work? (eg is it a figure drawing, a map, a portrait, an autobiographical work, a picture about nature, a drawing of the city etc?)

It is a man.

•What is the purpose of the drawing? (eg Is it a diagram that explains how something works? Does it record accurately record the appearance of something? Does it express the artist's emotion or memory? )

It is trying to show the face of a man by using different levels of tones of the fingerprints.


•How is line used? What does it do/express?

There is no line used.

•How is tone used? What does it do/express?

There are lots of different levels of tone used, from slight white to gray and very dark black, and most of them are gray actually.
By using different levels of tones it makes the contour of a man more extrusive and stands out, makes us easier to figure out which part are his hair, forehead, eyebrow, eyes, nose, ears, mouth, chin, neck and collarbone.

•What can you say about shape and/or form in this picture? What is the effect?

The form of the picture is quite systematical and mechanical.  From it we can see there are lots of fingerprints in the same size put in orderly, and no any overlap.  And the artist is using the tones very carefully and trying to connect different levels of tone of the fingerprint together, makes it harmony, trying to make the man being more solid like having three-dimension effects.

•Is texture a feature of the drawing?

YES, even it just simply made by a paper with lots of fingerprints, the texture of the picture is quite soft, smooth and natural.  Fingerprints makes everything not really in detail but quite rough and it is between reality and abstraction.

•What can you say about the composition of the drawing? What is the effect of this type of composition on the overall drawing?

The drawing composed a lot of different levels of tone of fingerprints.
It looks like an old photo token a long time before which just with white, gray and black.  Also, as it is quite mechanical like a photo printed with lots of dots.  And the artist is using his fingerprint instead of using any tools.  Not as exquisitely as the photo but roughly give the outline of a man.  It is quite abstract but impressive.  And we can see the artist was putting lots of effort to create the tones and space, making everything so natural.

•Is rhythm important in this picture? If so, say more about it...

YES, there is rhythm in the picture.  As there are lots of fingerprints put in one by one orderly, from slight gray to dark gray by observing different levels of light and space.  And the fingerprints create rhythm which makes the mood more harmonious and the overall being so coherent, smooth and natural.

•Is the picture balanced? Explain...

No, it is because the face of the man is a litter bit turn to right, seems that the posture is not balance.  Also the light seems coming from left hand side, in which we find some shadow of his nose, face, chin and neck in right hand side but none in left hand side.  And the shape of the hair is not balance, right hand side is higher than the left.

•Is perspective used in the picture? If so, describe the way that the illusion of three-dimensional space has been created.

YES, it uses the perspective.  The artist is keen in using different levels of tones of fingerprint which create three-dimensional space.  In the picture, we can that the slight gray is most spacious and the lightest part, and in contrast, the dark gray is the darkest, intimate and concentrated part of the man.  When they come together, it creates some space and pop out the outline of the face of the man clearly.  By using the tones, we can easily find out where the light comes from, which part of the man is and how far between different parts of his face is, etc.  And makes the man seems a real one and it is solid.

•Is the picture harmonious? If so, in what way?

YES, it is harmonious.  As there a lot of different levels of tones of fingerprints put in orderly in a consistent way.  Even the tones is different, it is trying to charge the level of tone very slightly and carefully in order to match with the overall image.  Finally, everything comes so natural and smooth and harmonious.

•Are there any strong contrasts in the picture? Say more...

YES, there are some strong contrasts in the picture.  Especially when it comes to the darkest, intimate and concentrated parts of the man, such as his hair, eyeball, nostril, the shadow of nose and chin and his clothes.  Also, comparing with the left hand side which is more brighten and slight gray than the right hand side.  We can clearly to observe every part of the left face but it is quite dark and mistiness in the left face which with lots of dark shadow.


•What is the mood of the drawing? Justify your answer using information from your responses above

The picture seems with nothing special mood and quite rough by only using the dots (fingerprints) to outline a face of a man, but actually, the mood of the drawing would be quite earnest, cautious, calm, stable and intricate…  As the whole structure is really complicated, it involves different levels of tones of the fingerprint.  And the artist has to pay attention to do every step to figure out which part should put which level of tone in an appropriate way.  Undeniably, it needs quite a long time to finish it patiently.

•What does the drawing express? Justify your answer using information from your responses above

It is a sophisticated microscope by using the pointillism.  The artist is using different levels of tones of his fingerprint to shape the contour of a man’s face.  It seems quite rough, between reality and abstraction.  But, it tells us that dots can also make things done, which can make the item quite extrusive by using different level of tones.  When we use the tone appropriately it would finally create the three-dimension and space effect.  Also, our fingerprint can make a special texture and feeling to the art work with this small dots shape and even the veins.  It makes everything being more natural, smooth and unique.

•In your opinion, why is this work interesting/moving/ clever/ imaginative/thought-provoking/......?  Choose the adjective(s) that best fit(s) the work, and then justify your conclusion in terms of specific features and qualities of the drawing.

I quite impressed by this art work and I would like to descript it is a sophisticated one.
Obviously, it would be easier for one to draw a man by using a pen or other tools but not the fingerprint.  The artist is really a smart and well organized person.  As it is difficult by using different level of tones of the fingerprints to express and outline a face of a person.  It involves some technical skills, experience and well organized plan before drawing.  From the picture, we can see the artist is really keen in using tones which created three-dimension and space of the man.  Eventually, it makes a harmonious, smooth and natural feeling to others.


  1. Hello, my name is Joyce Ma, I think this drawing is interesting, because this artist used different tones of his fingerprint to draw this drawing

  2. Hi!This is Teresa Lam. Wow, this picture gives a 3D feeling by using the dots/fingerprints.
    The dots are very well organised by using light and dark tone. And the texture makes the overall picture looks rough.

  3. Hi,it's Music.
    This painting is really interesting, and it reminds me of pointillism, because all the things are conposed by dots, and it can be seen as lines,but in a very sophisticated microscope.

  4. Hello, this is Erica Tse, I think the idea of this artwork is very creative and interesting. The fingerprint made by many dots, and the dots were in different tone, lighter and darker. The tone shaped the contour of the man's face.

  5. Hi, this is Fanny. This work is inspiring and innovative. It lets me to think about the photo on the passport since the composition of the picture is similar to the passport photo.
    The composition of the picture focuses in the middle of paper.The image can draw the attention of the audience easily.

  6. Hey this is Sarah. You said you thought there was no specific mood to this picture. I disagree with that. Of course it depends on your own individual interpretation. While it may not have a strong and intense mood that jumps out to the viewer right away, I think there is still a subtle mood. For me, it portrays a young man who is confident, a little cocky, and ready to live his life. Yet, the artist's use of his fingers to create the portrait of this young man gives the piece a faded feel. Perhaps this young man, who was full of confidence and life, died young and his face has become a faded memory in the artist's mind. So, to me, this picture shows a somewhat mournful feeling.

  7. Noria: Although the art work is created since 1978, but it is very stylish and impressive from my view. It will not outdated after 50years, a dateness composition. Just simple dots put together giving life to the man. It shows energetic and full of vigor.

  8. Hi this is Molly :)

    I love this drawing! I think it is so interesting! Both technically and conceptually. I like how by using finger prints instead of typical lines this picture shows us how sometimes tone can be a lot more important than line when it comes to depicting realistic forms.

    I think that the use of many separate fingerprints instead of traditional shading styles creates a sort of fragmented appearance. To me, this contributes to the mood of the drawing, making the figure seem sort of broken and through that left vulnerable. It's like his confident surface layer was shattered and we can see right into him, making the viewing of this picture a very personal experience. I also see finger prints as an interesting symbol for identity, like when the police take your finger prints to identify suspects. I see the purpose of portraits also as a way of showing a person's identity so I think that in this way the use of finger prints brings to mind many interesting issues related to modes of depicting identity and questions of what a person's real identity is.

  9. This is Cat. I love this drawing so much!Although it uses many same size of dots to depict a man, it could still like naturalistic and have shading.

  10. Hi, I am Kelvin.
    I think this photo is so funny!I think the line in this picture is not important and the color control of the fingerprint is so great!

  11. Eason: The style of the work is using stipple. Monet had used the style to create his work which can cause the feeling of impression. However, I feel the work looks digital and commercial using the style of stipple.

  12. I think this picture is quite
    interesting.Firstly,I think the artist use the finger print is an creative way.I suddenly think of a very famous composer who is called Tandun,he said "anything could be the way talk to the people,even could be without any instrument,water,stone,paper,anything but all these souds is the language of your heart ,nothing related to the technique,that's the future of the music ".(from the youtube which is his interview)I think drawing is the same,the artists use the fringer print on the picture.But actually I don't quite agree with you that you said there is not quite mood which the artist wants to express .I think he used this way wants to express the feelings that are a little active,have confidence toward the life ,positive attitude towards the life.For example,the man's mouth is small and from his eyes can express the confidence of hiself .So I think this picture express his confidence feelings.

  13. Hi I am millie.
    I think the idea of the picture is very funny and new! The artist use fingerprints as the
    tools to present his work.
    I agree that the picture is balanced. The main
    reason is that he use color tone to reach the
    sense of balance.

  14. I am Ashley leung. I think the picture is very interesting as it is drawn by fringerprints and the contrast in the picture is also clear. Some of the dots is quite light and some is quite heavy.

  15. Hi, i am Tracy.
    i think your drawing is very interesting!
    Although it is full of finger print, but i can still feel the tones of the color.
    And also i like the figure! his facial expression is very funny!
    But i disagree you that it is not balance because the figure is placed in the center.
    i think it is quite balance and i feel a sense of stable.

  16. this is alison chung
    it suprised me when i heard of finger-print. i think it is such an inovative way to make an art work. i believe had done a lot practice to make the face balance
    relly funy

  17. Filia: It's so kind of you to leave a comment to me, they are all supportive and meaningful. THX a lot!!

    RE~ Sarah
    I agree with you that it depends on people, different people would get different feeling when looking at the picture. And yours may be right! It's so nice to hear your opinion~ THX!!

    RE~ Eason
    Yup~ You are right! The art work really looks like a digital and commercial using the style of stipple. And i think it is special and interesting. That's why I think the form of the picture is quite systematical and mechanical.

    RE~ Tracy
    Yes, i like the tones used of this picture too.
    And i can see you point that you think it's balance because of the fingerprint is placed in the center and making a sense of stable. But, base on the posture of the young man, it seems a little bit tend to right and the shape of the hair, the face and the other parts of it isn't really balance.

    Anyway, again THANK YOU SO MUCH!!~^^~

  18. Hi, this is Cici.
    This picture is really interesting. The artist uses only fingerprints to create a drawing and it is so well organized and combined.
    I think the young man seems also very confident because his head is rised and his mouth is slightly open. It seems that he is ready to do something or face something.

  19. Hi, I am Kate. I do think that the tone of this picture is very important. It is because it creates the whole picture. I like the artist so much that he demonstrates that we can use anything to draw what we want and artwork can be so creative. It is really nice drawing and inspires me a lot!