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Old 04-14-2004, 08:23 AM   #1
Karin Wells Karin Wells is offline
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Drawing before painting




I often find it useful before I begin a portrait to do a little drawing to work out details such as light/shadow patterns, likeness, pose, clothing, etc.

I prefer to work with red and white chalk on (cheap) brown wrapping paper. Sometimes I use a red and a white colored pencil when I work small (as in this 8" x 10" sketch of John Adams for a historical portrait I'm about to begin). In drawing I avoid using the extreme values of black and white.

I draw on toned paper because I paint on a toned canvas. Drawing on white paper or painting on a white canvas never ever works for me as it "throws off my eye."

(Note that the reference came from a photo of the statue of him that is in the Senate building in DC.)
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Old 04-14-2004, 10:37 AM   #2
Linda Brandon Linda Brandon is offline
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Karin, this is lovely. It reminds me of Ingres' drawings, which were frequently quite small. How did he (and how do you) get such a fine point on those chalks? Thanks for posting this.
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Old 04-14-2004, 10:38 AM   #3
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
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Karin,

That is a lovely drawing.

If I might make a comment, I would say, use a better paper for your studies, so you have the drawing to sell. Your drawings deserve it.

I use www.twinrocker.com for my paper. They have all kinds of handmade beautiful pigmented paper in sizes large and small. Some of it quite antique looking. Another resource I use is www.nycentralart.com. They have a vast catalogue of papers. You can purchase sample booklets for about $5.

My pastel work is large so I have to predraw everything before I order a panel made. I do my drawings about 1/2 size and then make a line tracing be enlarged to a place that does blowups (shacos) of architectural drawings. Then I can sell the study.

Will you be at the Copley show on the 22nd? Hope to see you there with the Pulidos.

Sincerely,
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Old 04-14-2004, 06:44 PM   #4
Karin Wells Karin Wells is offline
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Linda: Because this drawing is small I used colored pencils.

Sharon: You're right I should use a better paper. i got hooked on brown wrapping paper when I was poor and in art school and love the color and "tooth." However, if I can find a quality paper that looks and feels like this i'll buy it.

I'll check out those websites asap. Any suggestions on a particular paper?

And thanks for reminding me about the Copley. When are we supposed to deliver the paintings? My dad is ill and my schedule is all messed up these days. If I go to the show, I'll probably ride down with the Pulidos.
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Old 04-14-2004, 08:06 PM   #5
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
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I'm sorry to hear about your Dad.

Actually the last day they are to be delivered is Saturday.

There are a billion types of paper out there, laid, small format, large format.

I particularly like the Ruscombe Mills Pastelle colors, the Moulin de Larroque, printing and drawing papers. I think the Magnani Annigoni would work for you as well. Order the catalogue, there are so many.

The Twinrocker has samples of it's papers posted on it's website.
They have a package of samples they can send you as well. Be forewarned, these will be a bit of a price jump from wrapping paper.

I love Rives, Central art will send you 4-5 free samples. You might like their tan. It's less expensive than the others and a great paper. It comes as big as 311/2" x 47"

Hope to see you at the Copley.
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Old 05-07-2004, 09:00 PM   #6
Chris Saper Chris Saper is offline
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Karin,

This is an exquisite little drawing! You have such a delicate touch - I particularly love the lost edge transition between hair and face in the shadows. It reminds me of Burt Silverman's work.

PS. I believe there is something called Wei-Tu? solution, which museums use to neutralize the acid so as to stop or at least retard deterioration in paper grounds. I don't know the particulars, but will see if I can dig something up. I think it is a spray.

The drawing part, at least for me, is an indulgent and fun part of the process. It allows canvas play, and a dress rehearsal for the layers that will follow.

PPS Now to the topic at hand. I absolutely rely on thumbnails to mass the values, find the negative spaces, and place the figure. These are drawing issues. Furthermore ( at least in my experience) they present a constant opportunity for correction, with every brushstroke.
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