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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Jean on the Pillow, 2

16 x20 inches,
charcoal on butcher paper

This is another go with the Natrim charcoal. It did not stay up on the surface on this paper as it did on the Mi-tientes so it was hard to manage. With drawing, the paper becomes a concern, how to keep it intact, keep its surface receptive, get the charcoal to come off, not too much, not too little. (Unlike painting, where you can happily work the surface to death, scrape it down, still viable.) This is a different method of drawing than I have used before, because only the big shapes are established in the beginning, so there is a lot of adjusting and fitting pieces together while the charcoal is still light. Maybe everyone draws this way, I don't know.  It's certainly an easier way to quickly get the whole figure in proportion. But there's a guy in my drop in life drawing class who starts with the tip of the model's thumb and moves the entire figure out from that point, everything in its perfect place ---aaaugh! Well --
crawl, walk, run, I say.

1 comment:

  1. Since Natrim is the official charcoal of choice for all ateliers I have struggled with it for three years, and have a bit (painfully learned) experiences to share. It is rather hard, which allows one to sharpen even the softest B charcoals to a needle point, which is how it is used in most ateliers -- sharpen it to the point of an epidermic needle and use that point to draw, as well as to shade -- painstakingly slow most of the time. But the effect you can get is beautiful, velvety. I have tried a lot of paper, and find the back side (smooth side) of Canson Mi-Tente acceptable. It takes quite a bit of charcoal -- much more than most printmaking paper such as stonehenge or Rives BFK, and less mechanical than laid charcoal paper such as Ingres. But to maximum depth of value we usually use Fabriano ROMA handmade paper, which has a laid pattern as well, and at first can be painful to work with, as you have to keep the tip of charcoal very sharp to get into the grooves of this paper. But once the paper surface is saturated with a thick layer of charcoal, it is just heaven to work with, as you can move the charcoal powder around with a stump, a sharpened stick, a partly-dirty kneaded eraser... And the charcoal never fails to adhere to the paper surface no matter how much you put on (non-Natrim charcoal do not adhere as well). You can get this paper frim Blick -- give it a try. It can be a pleasant surprise, although time consuming to work with...