Thursday’s Drawing, Classic #3


You could say I scratched the drawing and started from the beginning, incorporating several different methods and hopefully the new techniques produce the outcome that I’m looking for.

My goal was for the background to be smooth and slight variations with lower value ranges for the fabric folds.  My original drawing was getting look I was after so here is what I’ve done.  Starting from scratch I outlined the ballerina on a piece of frisket film and adhered that to the drawing paper (Strathmore Bristol Vellum) – my purpose in this step is to keep the ballerina clean while the background is being worked on.  Once the background is completed the frisket will be peeled off and the second phase of the drawing will begin.

The next step today, I started to work on the background.  Taking vine charcoal I scratched it against sandpaper to produce a fine dust, then using a cotton ball in small circles I worked it across the paper.  I used this method because I wanted the flat charcoal, but very smooth.  Once done, I used graphite pencil #6 and begin working from the top of the paper down.  After the surface was covered I used a piece of felt and begin working on the graphite going using vertical strokes again wanting a fine smooth finish.  The background is nearly completed in this phase and next week the folds of the fabric will be started.

LOL, the frisket on the ballerina’s finger tips and nose kind of got moved and has lifted from the paper – so guess what I’ll be concentrating on hard and soft edges and these two areas will worked beautifully for that, now that they won’t be clean of charcoal or graphite.  Oh yeah and her feet, well they got torn off and hopefully I’ll be able to bring them back to good form once I start working on the ballerina.

I couldn’t let the day go by without drawing!  Hope you enjoy ~ I’m happy with the way these techniques are shaping up.

Classic #3

Classic #3

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About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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23 Responses to Thursday’s Drawing, Classic #3

  1. lesliepaints says:

    Interesting experiment. Messy stuff that charcoal dust, so I know what you were doing here, Mary. Nice job!

  2. ladyfi says:

    That is so pretty!

  3. Ah frisket-much better you than me;) A tough technique to pull off, but it looks like you are on your way!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks so much Elena. I’ve never used Frisket before and wanted to work the background w/o destroying the ballerina – so I figured why not go all out, you’ll see what I mean as I continue working her.

  4. ĽAdelaide says:

    Hi Mary… A lovely piece. Your ballerina seems to float on air. I love her, so ethereal! Brilliant work. Thanks for sharing your process, far more difficult than I’m capable of managing ! 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Linda for your lovely comment. I don’t know about brilliant, just flying by the seat of my pants on this one – it’s that experimental thing in me that I have a need to always explore. Hopefully I can pull this one off. You, the talented artist, can handle anything!

  5. M-R says:

    The WORK ! You lot are tigers for self-flagellation. But in truth I think you just get lost in the process, eh, talented Mary ? 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Oh yes, at least for me you are so right. I get so involved in the process that I totally lose track of time, but you see it’s my way of learning always testing new techniques against anticipated results. That’s the fun. For writers it’s writing, constructing thoughts using words that hold impact, etc. the process of bringing thoughts/ideas to fruition – I think many similar aspects. Don’t you think there is similarities?

  6. it’s fresh and happy and makes me smile! you’re amazing! z

  7. Painting for Joy says:

    She’s coming to life right before our eyes!

  8. Don says:

    Wonderful to follow you through the process Mary.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Don – great to hear from you. Glad you enjoy reading about it, but I must say when I went back this evening and read what I wrote – well I should have done some serious editing, lol.

  9. Gallivanta says:

    This one is really challenging, isn’t it?

    • Mary says:

      I’m starting to feel like I’m getting more control over it, but yes this one had me stumped – I’m feeling some relief.

  10. I do like it how it looks right now even do you just started working on it! The wonderful play of shadows and highlights gives a really neat appearance. Actually the ballerina looks very light, almost like floating in the air. Looking forward to the next level!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Eva, thanks so much for your feedback. I do like the shadows and highlights and hope to incorporate them within the curtain folds. I agree about the ballerina, hopefully she has stayed nice and clean with the frisket – I’m looking forward to developing her.

  11. Cheers to a new beginning!!! Love the forming of your little ballerina! 🙂

    • Mary says:

      HI Marina, thanks – can’t wait to peel off the frisket to see just how clean she stayed. I’m excited to begin working on her, but know I’ll have to wait until the background has been completed.

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