Lately I've been spending more and more time with the prep drawing portion of the painting - enjoying the process and loving the look of the ribbons and bows in black and white. But the drawing eventually disappears under the painting and I end up wishing I had the drawing too. So for my residency I decided to experiment with drawing and painting on papers, particularly transparent ones.
"Blueberry" was my first drawing to do during my stay, and lesson number one - I will eventually use wet media, so regular vellum is out for me. The wrinkling paper was caused by the ink wash and white oil paint I used, so sad :(
I like this drawing a lot, but as soon as it was finished I felt there was something about it that seemed too something ... not me? Too much of an illustration look..maybe ... too much with all the curling ink lines?? I'm not sure. What do you think? But I really loved the velvety appearance from the ink washes.
This drawing was next, and even though I am unhappy with how this turned out over all, I really started figuring out how to use the inks.
In this close up, the thin wash and lucky accident of the long triangular drip helped me see how I could manipulate the inks for a look I liked better. I really like the more purposeful graphite lines visible through the ink washes. I loved layering the washes for multiple values too, but when that drip happened .... oh I fell in love! I haven't worked with inks and didn't know that a drip continues where the surface is wet, but stops where the surface is dry. Knowing this I really started to play!
"Pink" was next, and Yupo feels like silk, I adore it. I believe it is typically used for watercolor, and I can see why. The ink washes slide right across the surface and layering and drips were easy and fun. It is heavier than vellum, and holds the oil paint well too. Plus I felt it was easier to get darker values with the ink layers.
The lesson here though was the initial graphite lines I like to see peeking through, lift off once washes go on. Spray fixing the graphite drawing before applying washes is what I will do from now on. Even still, this is my favorite drawing of the res.
It is difficult to see from these photographs the effect the transparent papers have on the drawings, but once hung, the shadows from the wall itself contribute to the drawings' values. I hope to continue to play around with this now that I'm home. PLAY being the key word and one of my most important lessons learned :)