Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Charcoal = Controlled Smudging



Another drawing room session piece in charcoal with the wonderful Caribeth. This was a 20 minute pose with some enhancements after the fact. I think adding the dark tone is a plus in order to get added dimension and even a little atmosphere. Sargent did this often - and who better to try and emulate?
No drawing room this week - there's a show happening there, so I'm a little bummed. However, there are some things I could and probably will tend to in the studio Thursday night instead. I have completed a large piece, and need to properly photograph it. If I get a good shot, I'll post it here, plus a small WIP of how it came together.

2 comments :

Martha Miller said...

Have you worked with charcoal powder? You can apply it with your bare hands, or a chamois cloth or rag, or even a paintbrush. I love the stuff. Your eraser becomes an important drawing tool (I like the white rubber type - with it you can get fine details). Sometimes I just start a drawing with the powder and then go into it with compressed charcoal and charcoal pencil.

Rob S. said...

A few years ago, I liked to work on drafting vellum with graphite powder and Ebony pencils. I liked the way things slid around on the surface. And since graphite isn't as black as charcoal, the drawings had a nice silver sheen, which I thought was kind of cool. The only drawback was that if you erased to vigorously and crumpled the paper, there was no way to get the paper back to normal.
I should try the charcoal powder, though. It's really no different than painting an underpainting: one "color" and a few blunt tools. In this case it's hands and an eraser, instead of a big brush and a rag. Back in school, some guy brought a 3 pound bag of the stuff to a life drawing class, and accidentally knocked the bag off his easel. The stuff was everywhere. We all walked out of there looking like coal miners.