|3/14/13 Kuretake Fountain Brush Pen, drawing pad (2 min.)|
Now that I have filled one Gage life-drawing punch card and begun a second, I’m figuring out my favorite media to use, depending on the length of the pose. For two- and five-minute poses, I like to use brush markers or my favorite Kuretake fountain brush pen, which makes a fast, strong, bold mark (especially when filled with Platinum Carbon ink).
For 10-minute poses, which always seem downright leisurely after a series of much shorter poses, I’ve been using an extra-soft Cretacolor Nero pencil and white pencil on toned paper. Unfortunately, the only white pencil I had in my bag today was a water-soluble pencil, which didn’t make an opaque enough mark over the tan Strathmore paper. Next time I’m bringing my Primo Bianco charcoal pencil, which makes a solid, opaque mark. I might try this combo next time for longer poses, too.
My favorite media for 15- and 20-minute poses are water-soluble pencils combined with a diluted ink in a waterbrush as the wash. Today I used a Derwent watercolor pencil in indigo and diluted Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-jaku ink. At $28 a bottle (or $2.50 for a sample, which is what I have), my choice of ink, I admit, was somewhat extravagant. But it tickles me to use an overly bright, unexpected color to do something as traditional as figure drawing.
|3/14/13 Derwent water-soluble pencil, diluted ink, mixed-media paper (20 min.)|
Incidentally, the first couple times I went to Gage for life drawing open studio sessions, everyone else used easels and large pads of paper with charcoal. As I got comfy in my chair and pulled out my 9” x 12” sketchbook, the monitor asked me, with a doubtful expression, “You don’t want an easel. . . ?” I was already feeling a bit intimidated at Gage – I knew of its reputation for teaching in the traditional European atelier method – and I figured everyone else in the room was a painter or practitioner of some other form of “serious” art, not a sketcher like I am. So the monitor looking askance at my setup (or lack thereof) intimidated me even more – but not enough to make me change my ways (OK, so I’m stubborn even as I’m cowed).
Over time, I noticed that more open studio participants were using sketchbooks instead easels – some sketchbooks were even as small as the ones I use for location sketching. Today, I saw at least three artists using sketchbooks instead of easels. Maybe I’ve started a trend! (Ha-ha.)
|3/14/13 Nero pencil, white water-soluble pencil, toned Strathmore paper (10 min)|
Now about that foreshortened nose. I was digging around in my bag for my white pencil while the model got into position. The timer beeped to signal the start of the 10-minute pose, and when I looked up, I realized I would have to sketch straight up the model’s nostrils. Life-drawing studio: You gotta love it.