Drawing with charcoal continues its hold over me as I explore its range of values and techniques to express a variety of subjects. This river scene was particularly challenging in establishing depth in the back wooded area and for keeping the birch trees out in the foreground.
River Birches, a charcoal drawing (8×10) was drawn on Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper using compressed charcoal, vine charcoal, charcoal pencils and loose powder, and for blending tools q-tips, tortilium and a kneaded eraser. Many of the brilliant leaves at the top were done using negative drawing, the only way I could think to get some definition and leaving the rest to the viewers imagination. The birch trunks were developed using a loose powder for graying the bark, the pencils brought out the dark patterns, and the kneaded eraser to pull out the highlights. I’m not convinced by the water reflections, an area I’ll explore more with charcoal.
The drawing took about 12 hours, with some 27 photographs taken along the way to analyze the progress, and a lot of standing back to examine the piece from different angles. This drawing taught me a lot ~ click onto the image for a larger view.