Mixed media on paper, 7” x 5”
The paper had to endure a lot this time. To start, I lightly covered everything with a charcoal pencil with a some white charcoal mixed in. Everything was coated with clear acrylic gesso. This blended the charcoal a little for a middle grey background, it sealed the charcoal so it wouldn’t smudge anymore, and it provided a toothy surface to draw on top of that was like fine sandpaper.
After that I switched to colored pencils. The abrasiveness of the clear gesso helped pick up the colored pencil, which was close to full strength without much pressure, but it wasn’t making the smoothest lines. In a few places more white was needed, but the gesso didn’t have enough tooth left to pick up more pencil, so I applied more clear gesso in that specific place. Once it was dry, the surface tooth was restored and the color below was sealed again, so it was as if working on fresh paper. The colored pencil could also be smudged by the wet brush though, so I had to be careful with that. The rain was made with a card used as a straight edge and a white pencil.
The tools I used this time were an old size 10 filbert brush from Loew-Cornell for the Liquitex clear gesso, white and black charcoal pencils from General’s, black, grey, and white colored pencils from Koh-I-Noor, and a black colored pencil from Tombow. The Tombow pencil went on the paper smoother, but required more pressure for a heavy application, and was useful for increasing the coverage of the black in some places or making finer lines. A few pencils I sharpened with a knife in a way that exposes a lot of lead so they can be used for a long time without sharpening, but the white charcoal lead broke right after I started using it. It has a much more brittle and crumbly lead.
This is a sketch pad of 14″ x 11″ bristol board that I set up on a table easel. I’ve found that sketching ideas on large paper works much better for me. This allows easier exploration of an idea because related ideas can be grouped on one paper instead of separated on many papers. A drawing can be made on one part of the paper and then next to it a certain technique or medium can be experimented with. Here I used a lot of different media, including acrylic, watercolor pencil, and even a little water soluble wax paint that I just got and wanted to know how it’d work on paper. Using a large paper also allows for a non-linear development of an idea that may branch out into multiple possible options.