Sharanya Khemka


Class of: 2027

Major: Strategic Design and Management BBA

Medium: Graphite on paper

Faculty: Jeff Beebe

Prompt: Create a graphite self portrait with chiaroscuro. First create a reference file in Photoshop which you will draw from. We will change the Photoshop file from color (RGB*) to black & white (grayscale). We will then simplify the range of values (lights & darks) to a number of values that is easier to recognize with your eyes using a technique called Posterize. We will then use a GRID to transfer you image from your screen to the paper.

“Dichotomy, a symphony of contrasts on paper. Meticulously crafted chiaroscuro that reflects the depths within, evoking emotion through the interplay of light and dark.”

The choice of graphite as the medium is deliberate, as it allows for a level of control that is essential in capturing the intricacies of light. Through careful layering of shadows and highlights, I aimed to imbue the portrait with a sense of three-dimensionality, creating an illusion that transcends the flatness of the paper.

The contrasts within “Ephemeral Shadows” go beyond the visual; they are symbolic. The interplay between light and dark becomes a metaphor for the dichotomies that define the human experience. It acknowledges the transient nature of joy and sorrow, hope and despair, resilience and vulnerability. The self-portrait becomes a mirror reflecting the universal truths that bind us all.