An exploration of mixed drawing media. We live in an era of significant technological change. I feel happy to be doing art when so many new media and materials are at our disposal. The method is to know what you require from your materials and what you would like to achieve with their use. Learning to use traditional materials and conventional approaches provides a good foundation for understanding how to experiment in the studio and incorporate innovative new materials into your work.
Learning to do things well is essential. Many of history’s masterpieces result from innovations in thought and execution. They are also made so exquisitely and with such skill that they have survived the centuries. So to know how to break the rules, it is good to know what the rules are. Once established, it is time to incorporate new techniques.
Water-based media in the drawings
I have experimented with introducing water-based media into my mixed drawing process in my recent work. I have always liked drawing and calligraphy with pencil, charcoal, and other dry media. Kollwitz and Vincent’s favorite drawings join various mediums such as charcoal, pastel, ink, and lithographic pastel. There are also exquisite examples in the history of watercolor and gouache used in agreement with graphite and other dry means by artists such as Albrecht and Hans. However, much of this work has been done on what today we would consider traditional materials, such as parchment, paper, and prepared wood paneling, all of which have particular virtues. But they also have conditions that don’t always follow my abilities, work practices, or tolerance level.
I made drawings that combined different mediums, even wet ones. But I didn’t do it without incredible restraint and careful planning. This time I wanted to see if there was any material that would allow me to be more spontaneous and aggressive in building a design. I wanted fabrics that would not deform with time and humidity and withstand repeated washings; They didn’t crumble or dissolve under a stiff brush or tear when I scrubbed or sanded the surface.
I wanted materials that would allow me to change the hard, dry tip of a charcoal pencil, the black dust and soot of charcoal, and the deep, saturating veils of black ink at will, without having to be so held back by intrinsic limitations. I needed to experiment with new materials in search of a solution that would better suit my needs. But I didn’t want to compromise the health of my drawings in terms of conservation.
Dura-Lar and Mylar
Movie writing has been around for some time; Years ago, he heard of contemporary painters like Alex Kanevsky, who used drawing films as a painted surface for oils; I have freshly chosen to provide it a try. The drawing sheet is a non-absorbent polyester fabric purchased on a clear or matte surface. The type I use is frosted on both sides. It is semi-transparent and is called Dura-Lar.
Traditional paper is essentially a thin layer of woven cellulose fiber. Depending on the type of paper you are using, it is susceptible to moisture; It will tear if saturated with enough water or wiped too hard. It is not the case with the writing of the film. The surface is smooth, consistent, and translucent.
It’s plastic – durable, non-yellowing, and waterproof so that it will last forever. Dura-Lar matte is what you want; the opaque surface is created by very fine surface irregularities that reflect light, scattering it in all directions and allowing a mechanical bond between the film and the substrate. Graphite, charcoal, and charcoal will adhere to it. And ink, acrylic chalk, and gouache can be used generously without excessive dripping.
This cover is a different option but with unique properties that you want to use instead of paper. The appearance, feel, and function of a drawing on drawing film are different from drawing on paper. The marks made on the drawing ideas are smoother and more uniform; the character of the signs made on quality paper will be lacking. As with any choice of materials, there are pros and cons that you should evaluate yourself.
Mixed drawing media overdrawing film
I wanted to take advantage of the semi-opaque qualities of the film’s writing in Moonlight Moth and Deliverance. Before adhering the film to a board, I worked thin coats of ink to draw exact and intentional geometric patterns on the back of the drawing sheet. I understood these states would be evident on the exterior once the film was cut. It acts as a kind of tone on which I could start my drawing and from which I could extract and define my initial shapes. The spectral and layered quality achieved with this technique gives an added dimension to the finished design.
Mixed Drawing film, like paper, does not require special preparation to get started. Once mounted on a panel, I proceeded with any other design. First, I practiced a mixture of charcoal, writing butts, charcoal powder, and Colorfin PanPastel to define my shapes and edges freely. However, stretching the film makes mixing, erasing, and correcting so easy, so I moved more freely and easily when blocking.
Then with the rough texture in place, I further defined my darks with light washes and veils of black chalk. Depending on the piece, I try to be careful at this stage or to be expressive and gestural with my sign. To get the textures and tones I want, I use everything from sponges, fingers, toothbrushes, Sumi brushes, bristle brushes, sandpaper, etc. Black chalk is excellent because it is opaque and has a slight tooth. Works well with charcoal and charcoal pencil, making it easy to build for added interest or value.
I started using more refined drawing and crosshatching techniques with charcoal and charcoal pencil in the next step. It helps refine the gradations, solve structural problems, and give more dimension to my shapes. I tried to go through each stage smoothly, never being obsessed with one step instead of another. For me, comparing the last degree of achieving a design is entirely intuitive. I try everything until the piece seems to be completed.