Sunday, October 20, 2013

Entry for October 6, 2013

(Once again, there's a Saturday afternoon Intro to Life Drawing of mine coming up in about a week. Enroll via the link here and you can get a $40 discount on it, too)

On the Sunday afternoon, Vivian was working at the Sackville space. The afternoon session has shifted back from three poses to one 3-hour pose. Better for painters, but I liked the 40-50 minutes per-pose option. Less time to overwork, especially with my limited will-power where time constraints are concerned.
There was a rich dark burgundy velvet backdrop, but I wasn't keen on a pale figure floating in dark space, so I was trying to keep the background values lighter. It was challenging trying to reconcile the light on her against a different value than I was seeing.
This is done with water-soluble graphite on an 18 x 24" sheet of 150 lb Maidstone rag paper. The graphite is appealing to work with because of the greater range of values it allows, and the intrinsic edge of unpredictability of it. And pencil graphite merges fairly seamlessly with it after the fact.
I had had ambitious notions of doing two or three studies on that afternoon, but this one ended up filling all the available time. There was also a couple of hours adjusting/reworking background values afterwards.
So at present two preferred working options are emerging: for short studies, the uncompromising black/white binary of felt-tip pigment pens and brushpen, which are really good discipline and brushwork practice, and the water-soluble graphite for 20 minutes and up. The graphite line brushed on is lighter, less absolute on the page.
So Copic markers have functioned as a good gateway drug back into wet media, but at present the lightfastness and workability of the graphite are trumping the immediacy and faster handling of the less-stable marker. And personally,  I like the slightly granular quality of the graphite over the smoothness of Copic marks.
Retaining the lightness I could get with  lighter-value inks with the Copic images is desirable.

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