I continued to experiment with water soluble-graphite this week. In this quick drawing I loosely sketched the dancer, then with a wet brush freely and quickly went over it. After allowing the paper to dry a little, I went back and added more detail with my graphite pencil and a wet brush. I also played with a dry brush.
Leaving the lines of the skirt open helped create movement in the dancer. Painterly motions of a wet brush also help add to this effect. I have to admit though, I am terrible at just walking away from a drawing and saying it is done. For me there is always something to tweak. Therefore some of the free-flowing effects that I had, have become more detailed. Next time I will walk away, maybe.
Paper: Canson Mixed Media
Pencils: ArtGraf 2B, 6B
Water-soluble graphite has quickly become a new favorite medium for me. I like the richness that the graphite creates along with the freedom to add more layers and not end up with a shiny end result. The diversity of this medium allows for quick, tight sketches like the kitten seen here, or can be utilized for loose, free-flowing sketches with a more painterly effect. (I will post a loose sketch next week.)
Drawing detail does take some practice and experimentation. If too much water is added to an area the graphite will bleed; I almost lost the cat’s eye on this sketch because my brush was too wet. Drawing can be done dry, using water, or both; it all depends on what effect you want to create.
I also added an element of color to this sketch utilizing a great new drawing tool by ArtGraf. ArtGraf produces water-soluble graphite along with pigmented water-soluble drawing mediums, most art stores and Amazon now sell this new art product from Portugal. Here I worked with a very light wash of the pigment, however the same pigment can be used to create deep intense colors.
Paper used: Canson Mixed Media
Water Soluble Verses Regular Graphite
I have to admit, this sketch was a lot of fun. There are definite benefits to working with water-soluble graphite as opposed to regular graphite pencils. For anyone who has ever used graphite, they will know all-to-well the shiny effect that graphite can create; with water-soluble this is no longer an issue.
While working with water-soluble graphite, I was pleasantly surprised by a couple other great results. This medium grants the ability to create fine detailed lines. It also allows areas to be worked into a darker value. Drawings can be rendered quickly creating either a loose water paint feel or a more rigid real life look. The only drawback is that it is very difficult to remove graphite from highlighted areas after water has been used; therefore, plan ahead.
I think I might have to do one more drawing using this medium; I would like to experiment a little more before I move on.
Paper Used: Canson Mixed Media
If you have any comments or questions regarding water-soluble graphite please feel free to comment below, I am always happy to talk about art.
It is always the drawings that I do on scrap paper with an everyday pencil that seem to produce the result I am looking for. There is a certain freedom that comes from knowing that this is not the final piece. For this reason I do a lot of my planning on tracing paper. I know I can be hard on the paper and still erase without breaking down the tooth of the surface. The funny thing is, however, that because I am more relaxed I erase less; the lines tend to flow uninhibited. Tracing paper also enables me to see proportions and layout before I have committed them to art paper.
As I sat down this morning to plan images for a watercolor or water soluble graphite (I haven’t decided yet), I quickly came up with this simple sketch. I wanted something uncomplicated and loose that I could try finish with a couple different mediums to see which result I like best.
For those that have been asking why I have not blogged anything for a while I will try be more diligent in blogging as I play. Thank you for keeping me accountable, it is good to know there are people out there that miss seeing the artwork.
Always take time to create.
New Limited Edition Prints
I am happy to announce that I will be selling two new limited edition art pieces at the Millarville Farmers’ Market on August 16th. The first piece is titled, Fallen Timber and is inspired from photos that my husband took at the family farm last year.
Original Graphite 20 x 13
The second drawing is a charcoal piece, which I will be posting next week. Watch for the update.
The Millarville Market on August 16th is also the Millarville Fair. Mark your calendar for this fun-filled day.
Becoming a vendor at the Millarville Farmer’s Market has been a valuable experience. Besides actually selling prints, originals, and cards, many other benefits have come from this journey. The way people respond to each piece gives great information to help guide me as to how I want to direct my art focus. Whether it be other artists, customers, or just “window-shoppers”, knowing what draws them in and why has been very encouraging and energizing. The exposure of my art pieces and potential commission work is another great spinoff. One other benefit has been “talking shop” with a veteran artist. Hearing her art story and the many lessons she has learned on her journey has been invaluable.
As-fun-as the market has been art is still more fun for me, so back to the art. Thought I would post a sneak-peak…what is on the easel.
Sun, summer, and art, could there be a better combination? Looking forward to some great drawing time this week. Keep posted for the update and enjoy the summer.
Spring is like earth’s orchestra coming together to compose a beautiful song.
With spring on the horizon, I find that I pick up my sketchbook more often. This week’s quick sketch was refreshing, reflecting on the new songs that new life brings. The graphite sketch is on a toned, medium surface paper. White charcoal was added to blend and highlight fur texture.
14×18 Graphite (photographed quality reproduction)
I love the collection of movements which embody the kata, Unsu. They vary and flow from one technique to another. It reminds me a lot of our Canadian weather. In the course of one day we can go from serene clouds to violent winds, thunderstorms, and even tornadoes.
The Chinese’ characters for Unsu mean cloud hands. The character for hands may also refer to technique. Just like clouds that bring many types of weather, the kata incorporates many types of hand movements and techniques. It opens with a movement of the hands that depict the parting or separating of clouds and continues to move through a variety of symbolic weather patterns.
Check out this post, The History of Unsu, for more history, a video of M.Nakayama performing Unsu, and application. Kind of cool!
I thought a drawing of the Unsu kata would make a great cloud study. For those of you who know this kata, I opted not to use the opening movement of the hands, the separating of the clouds. For me, the chicken-head-wrist block (keito-uke) is a signature move of this kata.
The cloud study for the drawing was a lot of fun, but the actual study of the kata has proven to be a little more difficult. I always enjoy a good challenge; I think I found one.
The eight second ride, from what I am told, is a long eight seconds. I always find it interesting that some moments in our lives seem to take forever while others speed by so quickly, yet the actual time that has passed might be the same. Why? Why do the events in our lives that are enjoyable seem to go fast and the more stressful times slow down? There is a way to slow life down, really! If you want to know more read the following article, The Mental Trick… observe and enjoy life around you. Mentally record those precious moments in every stage of your child’s life. Take the time to slow down.
24 x 19 Graphite Sketch
Observation has become a key element in art for me. It has forced me to slow down and pay attention to details that I might not have seen otherwise. In the drawing above I wanted to incorporate movement with the use of dust or smoke clouds. I know how to draw a cloud, but how do you make them move? I had to observe clouds of all types. I think I have captured some of that movement in this drawing, however I have some other ideas I still want to try. Hopefully they will appear in future drawings.
Hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for joining me on my art journey.
Note: This is a photograph of the original. The scanned image will appear at a later date in the gallery and copies will be available for sale.
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller
One of the things I enjoy about portraits is that it gives me the chance to get to know people’s stories. I did this portrait for an amazing lady whose love and adoration for her husband was so beautiful. I could feel her love for her husband when she spoke about him. This drawing was an honor to do. 🙂
Once again the challenge for this drawing was photographing it after. Getting better though.