Self Portrait in coloured pencil

Friday, 15 March 2019

Yawning Cub WiP

Yawning Cub, Work in Progress

My latest pencil drawing is a cub yawning as s/he comes out of the den in the morning light. I am using a 2H lead in a mechanical pencil on graphic film. Maybe that is why the 2H comes out so black compared to drawing on paper. I like the smoothness of graphic film and the fact that it doesn’t buckle if it gets damp. As graphic film is translucent, I often colour the drawing on the reverse. If I do it on the reverse of the Yawning Cub, it might solve the problem of colouring the roof of the den. But at the moment I am challenging myself to do it in graphite pencil. 

I have had another challenge this week. I was blending pastel skies and distant hills. I was working on canvas primed with clear Colourfix. (Colourfix is brilliant for mixed media and I am using it to underpaint and sketch portraits in oils.) Colourfix is gritty which is why it holds the pastels. 
Many artists work with pastel on a sandy textured surface but in the past I always worked on Canson Mi-Teintes paper. But the paper absorbs water and buckles which is the main reason that I started working on graphic film. I wonder if I can prime graphic film with Colourfix? I will try it some time. 
Anyway to get back to the gritty surface on the canvas, I was blending the pastel with my finger and it got very red and sore. The next day I used another finger to blend pastel on the next 2 portraits and that finger got very sore. The next day I sacrificed a third finger on a big painting of a boy on his horse. 
After that I decided to preserve my forefinger and look for a solution so I searched for Colour Shapers online. I believe that they are made of silicone. I ordered 2 in finger sizes and another silicone blender which looks good for large areas. 
Time will tell. Today I drew, and did some oil painting. 
I also took Jasper for a walk. We have been kept in by the bad weather and he was beginning to go stir-crazy. Dogs are so valuable to get artists away from the easel and into the fresh air. 

Here are the silicone blenders. The black one is harder than the light grey. I don’t know which is best. 

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