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.