Wednesday, June 19, 2013

1st entry for June 2, 2013

On the Sunday, Essa was working at the Sackvill session on the Daniels Spectrum building. These are, from the top, a 5-minute study, three 10-minute ones and a 15-minute study at bottom.
I was using warm gray Copic markers, in a range of 10%, 30%, 50%, 70% and black. I was doing initial drawing more gesturally with the 10% and working light to dark.
One of the pitfalls of working light to dark is that values are relative on the page; I tend to shade with the 30% gray as if it was a black, and it looks fairly dark when nothing else is on the page.
But when I add a 50% or darker value, it blows away the effect of darkness and everything looks washed-out.
This is an issue when doing short studies as there is limited time to go over areas multiple times with darker layers; too much time on the light info and the pose is over before I get to darks.  But light values are good for setting up shapes on the page as they are forgiving in a way a dark black mark isn't, because they are ultimately less obtrusive. Layering on one level at a time is like shading the image 3 or four times, in successively dark areas. I could shave off time and save ink by only laying in initial light values in the places they will be seen, but that is weird and patchy until darker values go in, and requires a lot of trust along the way.
My preferred compromise has been to block in all the tonal scheme quickly with a very light value, and then use a much darker one, like a 70% gray in the darkest bits, as a cue to what really dark will look like. Then I go back to building from light-dark through the mid-values. Black I save for extra punch at the end.
I didn't do that here, and the images look washed-out because of running out of time to get to darker values. I might have been smarter to start with a 30% or darker value for these fast ones, and only add lighter values than that if time allowed.
Charcoal and graphite are easier that way; one material means no fiddling back and forth between which instrument I'm holding, and more seamless tonal graduation. But these marker wash sketches have a punchiness and liveliness of their own.

No comments: