The drawings I produce are highly detailed using intense lines that are etched and woven across paper. I use a range of drawing materials to bring life to the city. Mark making becomes a methodical activity and I incorporate colours that reflect the cities palette. Capturing the transient mood of the city is very important and is realised through the activity of looking and recording. Each drawing starts with a simple sketch done in situ. I also take photographs with a mobile phone to capture the everyday aspects of the city. I seek out the mundane social interaction between human activity and the architecture that surrounds us.
Time and process are integral to the drawings each dependant on the complexity of the subject. The very accurate drawings take many hours to complete and begin with a clean, precise line seeking out the form and mass of the architectural layout. The result of this process defines the composition and forms the skeleton of each drawing. I then proceed to add structural detail and build up the surface of the drawing adding layers of detail and colour. I seek to highlight the varieties of colours on a wet street. Rich greys and velvet blacks are transformed in there reflective abilities.
The final part of the process includes scratching into and onto the finished drawing. This act gives a unique quality to the completed work and is reminiscent of an intaglio print.
From Start to Finish
Below we can observe a playfulness by McCarthy in arranging the structural elements of an early drawing. Drawings at this stage are reminiscent to those quick sketches made by L S Lowry whilst he traveled around the UK.
This is a loose approach allows McCarthy to develop the outlay of the architectural elements
Once McCarthy is happy with the proposed layout, he can then begin filling in each area with a range of expressive and highly detailed mark-making. After many hours work, one can see how visually effective the transition can be.
Above show an example of a drawing ready to receive ink and colour