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Thursday, 9 July 2015

Painting your Graphite drawings

Did you know that most, if not all, graphite pencils are water-soluble to a greater or lesser degree? This means that it is always possible to add water to your graphite drawings to soften lines or blend areas of the drawing. But then there are graphite pencils that is purposefully produced to be water-soluble. Let me show you how much fun you can have when you combine these with normal graphite pencils. Now, let us 'just add water!'

Let me start off by making excuses for my poor choice of paper. I was working in charcoal before when I turned the page and started on this project without a second thought to the surface I was working on. The paper is a mere 100 gsm and certainly not intended to take water. You will therefore see my drawing buckle under the onslaught as soon as I add water. When working with water it is best to find a good quality paper of 200 gsm upwards. I drew the figure using a water-soluble graphite pencil. (The design was originally drawn by Fabiola Fung).

I colored the figure with Faber-Castell's Pitt Oil Pastel Pencils.

The hair is colored very dark in Derwent's Onyx pencils. I could also have used Marie's pencils, which tend to be darker than their counterparts.

I then dip my brush in water and let most of the water run off so the brush is moist, rather than wet.

I paint the dress with the moist brush, picking the 'color' up as I go from the lines drawn in water-soluble graphite.

I use Marie's Large Clutch Pencil, one of my all-time favorite art products, to draw the columns that will give the figure a setting. I shade the sides of the columns with the same pencil, which has a very soft 4B lead in it.

I now use a very wet brush to pick color off the water-soluble graphite pencil, which I then paint on the paper in the middles of the columns.

Since most graphite pencils are water-soluble to a degree, I know I can pull the marks left by the clutch pencil in with the brush, even though the pencil was not manufactured with the intention of being painted. This gives me an effortless blend of the two products.

Do not be fooled by the thick lead in this pencil, it is very capable of precision work as well. The best part is the fact that you can shape the lead to suit your requirements.

I love how easily light and shadow was created in the dress by means of simple washes.

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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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