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Monday, 10 March 2014

Detail of Large Pencil Portrait

Three weekends in a row I have gotten in about 6 or 7 hours all together so far on my large drawing. The drawing is 22x30. It is on illustration board. The old illustration board that was my very favourite back in the late 80s while at art college, Crescent Board, is long discontinued, much to many artists' chagrin as it was awesome. I found Strathmore illustration board 300lb a few years ago that I ended up liking a lot too. However, funny enough, I could only get it at Michael's of all places, no art stores sold it. The board I bought at Curry's is Peterboro though. It is fine for pencil, not an over crazy tooth, but for watercolour I would only use Strathmore as it holds up much better to scrubbing back pigment, a technique I loved in watercolour.

This is a detail of the whole drawing, the face and shoulder beginnings. This pic was shot with my cell phone so of course the resolution is Not ideal, it is quite compressed, more contrasty than the original drawing, and smooshy looking. I do not smudge when drawing, I layer and I scrub back a lot with a soft eraser. I have never liked the look of smudging, I find it has an unreal looking feel, and it always struck me as having that "amateurish looking beginner artist who draw glitzy plastic repros of stars from published photos" sense, especially when you see it inconsistently mixed with non smudge areas. I like visual texture too so maybe that is why smudging is too polished a finish look for my taste. I know my views are probably unfounded since I am sure a lot of accomplished draughts persons use smudging, I just don't care for it, nor the feel of doing it physically.

I have just under 1 year to complete this drawing, and it is daunting, especially the figure part, but I am confident I will finish.

To work, I sit cross legged on the couch, putting my one foot to sleep (not all artists have studios), with my drawing propped up against a large board, and my reference image on my screen, and me a few inches from both so I do not need my glasses. This is a good thing because I would need bifocals and I don't have them either. I will most likely pay for this when I am 70+ as my back and shoulders also kill after the couple hours I work like this but I just ignore it. Anything one has enough passion for, one is willing to take a little pain for lol!

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