Saturday, December 6, 2014

OMG! LOOK WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PENCILS MEET SOLVENTS

They say he severed his ear over a woman,
but maybe, just maybe, the cause
was frustration over art materials.
Artists... no wonder we lose our minds and cut off our ears! First we task ourselves to conjure a completely original vision to depict, so unique it's akin to a snowflake. But  that's not enough...  in order to produce our snowflake-ish image, we have to claw our way through technique, materials, and tools to try and bring that vision to realization.

In any case, one of the dilemmas we face in the context of drawing, is how to get a base color (like a wash) in a drawing. And then how to achieve the detail on top of that color, especially in the realm of illustration, because Hop-along-Bunny needs a nice soft brown coat with detailed shading, and surrounding him, a meadow of pale green with identifiable flowers: daisies, asters and such-like. (Granted, if you are doing digital illustration it's a whole different ballgame. We're dealing with old-school techniques here.)

Strathmore watercolor
paper in a pad
Often we turn to watercolor to accomplish the background color-field, but the problem with that is that while I enjoy looking at other artists' water-media paintings, I'm not a watercolorist. Dagnabbit, something about the dullness of the rag paper bugs me, and worse... so frustrating how anytime water touches paper, the paper buckles, heaving it and causing the paint to settle in pools, make that lakes, overall not unlike the Adirondacks, or the Poconos. I know, I know. You died-in-the-wool watercolor aficionados will tell me to stretch the paper. NO! No, no, no. Stretching paper is anathema to me. I'd rather dance naked in an apiary.

Chartpak Markers from Dick Blick
The next solution to achieving the desirable wash is to use markers. Ahhhh... markers, such an ingenious tool. That marker-aroma, that addictive yet legal high... Right. But the downsides are plentythey bleed, they make uneven stripey washes, the colors are ugh, off somehow, garish with a hint of fluorescence. And they will fade badly. Sure everything fades, but markers are known for their fugitive nature.
Pencil manipulated with mineral spirits and a soft brush. This drawing
was done on a textured paper. Less textured paper
will produce smoother looking results. 




So...   Heh heh. I have discovered a fairly wildly inventive solution for those problems. I cover an area with colored pencil. Prismacolor, with their waxy texture are good, and they are also available in a stick which helps with larger areas of coverage. Create dense color, shaded color, experiment awhile and find your comfort level. Once you have your basic drawing down, use a soft brush dipped in mineral spirits to manipulate the pencil.
The solvent will semi dissolve the waxy pencil allowing smudging, blending, and highlighting. And eureka! The paper may get a little bit wavy but it doesn't buckle as it would from water, and it dries flat. Feel free to touch up the drawing with colored pencil, oils, or pastel (oil or dry).



That's it for today. Artists art, so get arting Paint-Slinger!

Thanks for stopping by.
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