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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Jean on the Pillow 1

20x16 inches, charcoal on paper

This is the first of my efforts with the Natrim charcoal, expensive Italian charcoal in long squared off bars. They come in different hardnesses and you have to sharpen them to a 3 inch gradually tapering point. They are temperamental, in that sometimes the density of the charcoal is too high and you can't get a mark out of them. The desired effect as I understand it, is to get a very even patch of mark making, a perfectly flat area. So you have to learn what the charcoal will do, how it can be built up in flat tone. Then the gradual darkening occurs over this tone, by gently adding more charcoal, because if you did the first layers correctly you will have a smooth surface which will hold more and more... This is almost more painting than drawing. Mark making is not the first priority, although there is a bit. I got way too dark here too fast.

My most favorite and entirely delicious movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, just got 9 Oscar nominations, which makes me so happy!

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