Tuesday, January 31, 2012

1st entry for Jan 20, 2012

I got in for a portion of the Friday night session. S-  was working that night.  I had taken advantage of a sale on Maidstone paper at the close of December.  During this week I had been playing with some of it, testing different combinations of materials and shading.
I started experimenting with moving away in earnest from drawing on newsprint about a year ago. Back then, I spent a few months using soft graphite before ultimately gravitating to quite hard compressed charcoals.  Graphite tends to a slightly lighter value on the dark end, but can have quite a rich value range, all the same.

The top study is a small one, done with  4B graphite on a 22 x 30" sheet of 90 lb. Maidstone paper.
The standing figure is a 15-minute study with an additional 10 minutes of supplementary shading, done with a hard U-art compressed charcoal  on a 21 x 29" sheet of Strathmore paper.
The third one down is hard Nobel charcoal on a 22 x 30" sheet of Maidstone paper, with an additional 15 minutes of supplementary shading, and the lowest one is a 4B graphite on 22 x 30" Maidstone.

I believe that it takes a while working with any combination of paper and materials to work out how to best exploit it. I'm starting to feel more at home on the Maidstone paper.  One thing I am finding, though, is that many material are just on one side or the other of ideal. Hard Nobel charcoal is just a bit too hard, while hard U-art charcoal is a little softer than ideal. Graphite is almost right, but not quite dark enough.
I keep hoping I'll find the `just right' material, but in case that's a chimera, some combination of a couple of materials may be the best for me.

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