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25 June 2013

Back to Basics: Follow-up

OK. When I started working on the transfer last night, even the "B" pencil wasn't "enough" (wasn't thick enough, or soft enough) to transfer well.

So, I went over the drawing again with charcoal pencil (I used about eight of them, since they're only sharp enough to make about a ten inch line before getting dull, and I didn't ant to spend all evening sharpening and re-sharpening pencils).

The panel was primed with two coats of Liquitex acrylic gesso (sanded between coats) followed by three coats of Gamblin's "Traditional Gesso" (also sanded between coats). This is the smoothest, nicest surface for drawing and painting that I've found (or been able to create, myself).

That worked well, and the drawing is now transferred to the panel, and I'm going over the drawing--yet again--and making it sharper, and adding more detail.

24 June 2013

Process: Back to Basics (transferring an outline drawing onto the panel)

I spent part of the day Friday working on the spider drawing--finishing the parts mentioned in my previous entry.

Once I was (very nearly) satisfied with it, I traced it (it was already on two pieces of tracing paper, having first been traced from a smaller, rougher original drawing; then another small piece of tracing paper was used to refine that tracing--yes, thiscan be complicated) onto a large (18x25 inch) sheet of tracing paper.

Next, the drawing is flipped over, and traced (yet again) in soft pencil, so that it can be transferred to the panel (which will be one the finished painting).

For this, I'm going to use a .3mm mechanical pencil; the smallest pencil available, with a soft "B" lead. (As thin as these leads are, they are very fragile. Leads softer than "B" aren't available for the .3mm pencils.). The softer lead will "rub" easily onto the surface of the panel, giving me a good, clean transfer of my drawing. I will probably have to retrace it, but a harder lead might not leave enough graphite for me to see the drawing clearly enough to be able to retrace it accurately...

Once the entire "back side" of the drawing has been traced in graphite, it will be taped in position on the panel, and a burnished will be used to "press" or "rub" the drawing (the graphite on the back, held next to the panel by the tape) onto the panel.

There are other means for transferring drawings onto canvas, panel (or whatever surface will be used for the final work). Graphite paper can be placed between the drawing and the final surface, and the drawing retraced; a projector can be used, and the proejced image traced; or a grid can be placed over the drawing, and redrawn using a corresponding grid on the final surface. (And, for the truly ambitious and steady-handed, a Pantograph could be used--if you can find one!)

Anyway, this is the easiest way to transfer a drawing if its already the size you want; tracing doesn't enlarge or reduce the image. (If you need the drawing to be a different size on the final surface than the size of your original drawing, you'll need to use a projector, the "grid" method, use a copy-machine that enlarges or reduces, resize the image on a computer and project it (or trace from a printed hard copy), use a Pantograph, , or redraw the image to a different size, freehand.

For most of you, I'm sure this is all very basic. I'm also sure that there are some artists out there who have never heard of a burnisher--or a Pantograph!

So, this is how I do it, and the tools I use.

I'm planning an elaborate background for this, so stay tuned for that...

05 June 2013

Building a better spider...

I spent last night and tonight working on this drawing. I had a perfectly acceptable side-view drawing of a spider (you saw it; the drawing on the right, in my post from 14 May) but I wanted something a bit more...dramatic. So, I made this--without reference photos or models. (The original drawing was made without references, as well.)

This isn't quite done (it still needs spinnerets, a head, eyes, palps, and fangs) but I think it's clear enough what I was after, here. And, I'm not sure yet how this guy (gal?) is going to relate to the web--and I'm definitely feeling a web in this one; many of the ideas I've been exploring, vis a vis webs, are going to be greatly expanded upon, here!

Also, I'm thinking BIG--as in, 24 x 36 inches B I G.

(And, this one is going to be A I R B R U S H E D! I'll definitly be using oil paints, too, but I'm going to do the majority of the painting in this using airbrushed acrylics, first.)

Plus, I'll have another small painting ("Rain!") to post, here, very soon!

Stay tuned...