I had a lot of fun drawing today as work on the drapery and folds continue. I only draw 1/2 hour on Thursdays, but I really enjoyed today and the clock ran for an hour. I know you’re probably thinking “and that’s as far as you got?”
My process is three-fold: put the charcoal on, blend it, take it off and repeat this process until I could see the gentle folds evolve. I was careful in making sure that the darks and highlights were muted which is the main reason for building each fold with this process. A cotton ball was used to blend the drapes because I wanted a smooth appearance, then a kneaded eraser was used to remove (barely touching the paper) and develop the lighter part of the drape. Finally a 3B charcoal pencil was used to add the darkness between the folds, this darkness was blended using a rolled piece of felt because of its softness (tried q-tips, but they removed too much of the charcoal).
Charcoal is an interesting medium, messy, especially as I sanded down the willow sticks to draw with the dust and let me just say, it was everywhere. But I love it and the more I work with charcoal the more I appreciate its qualities and use. In this drawing I wanted the background dark, but didn’t want it to come forward and overshadow the ballerina. And that is the number one reason charcoal is being used for the draperies, its flat qualities will keep it in the background. This way when the ballerina is drawn in graphite (with its reflective qualities) she will be brought forward.
Next week I’ll work on the draperies one last time darkening them overall and cleaning up the folds – one reason why I like taking photographs while during these Thursday projects, you can see all kinds of things that say “fix me!” After the drapes are completed the stage floor will be started (the area is covered with Frisket now to keep it clean), using graphite because it will reflect the lights and ballerina.
Hope you enjoy this stage of Classic.