Saturday, July 25, 2009

I have become entranced by the new technique of painting with graphite. I'm currently working on a portrait of my niece, Ashley, and am really pleased with my progress. Am now stuck on the hair - will get some tips from my sister (a watercolorist/graphite artist) for Ash's hair.
The brush adds so much control and subtlety to the process, I am amazed at the effects one can get, while still retaining the graphite look. But I should forwarn you, at a certain point the brush takes off more than you put on. So it needs to be used sparingly and lightly, in combination with traditional graphite techniques. You can't get away from that.
The photos show my progress - from laying down the basic shapes, to building up the shading (many,many,many layers) to getting close to finishing. I'm using 4 pencils - HB,2B,4B,6B (woodless, aren't they great to work with?) and occaisionally an 8B Wash graphite pencil fore the darkest colours. The brush I currently use is a Royal Soft-Grip SG155 - a very inexpensive brush (costs $5 here in Canada), and I'm looking at other brushes (smaller and larger).
I hope to finish Ash's portrait next week. Have spent about 13 hours so far, expect the hair will take me another 5-6 hours.
What fun!

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