Friday, March 12, 2010

Art Supplies & Pencil Ponderings


Momma got Blicked! It's always a happy day when the postman delivers a box of art supplies.

Sharpened up the pencils to take them for a test drive. Discovered the Derwents were too big to fit in my electric pencil sharpener. Pfft! Bought the Derwents on a recommendation by Roz Stendahl. Wanted a pencil that would lay down a very black line and scan well. These are "pigmented" (with carbon maybe?), not graphite, so the shine doesn't confuse the scanner.

Got the Design Ebonys because they are the pencil Rick Tulka uses to do his Le Select Cafe drawings. I've long admired his clean black lines and hoped it would be the miracle pencil I was searching for.

Did a little test with the four blackest drawing pencils I now own using the Big White Marble from drawing class as the subject.
The Derwent was the winner hands down in the qualities I wanted. It has the blackest black of lines and a matte finish that plays well with the scanner. It is waxier and somewhat stickier to draw with over the graphites, and has a rougher, looser line. It also has a very soft lead and is a booger to keep sharp.

Don't think this would be a good pencil for fine detail work but would be great fun for guerilla sketching. Add a bit of water and it makes a dandy wash for shading and shadows. Woot! Great fun!

Had an epiphany doing this little test. *This* is the kind of sketch the drawing class teacher wanted us to do...general shapes with shading for contour, not the details of the cut glass. OH! Of course! These were easy - whipped them out in a few minutes. I should have done something similar in class. Doh! I have a new perspective going into Class #3.

Decided to put down the pencils and check up on the arty bloggers. First one I hit was Karen Blados who had posted a macro photo of a housefly. Ewwww! Had to draw.
(From photo by Karen Blados, used by permission)

This is just the head of course. Didn't have the gumption to draw the whole body or his sticky tongue lolling onto Miz Karen's sofa. Ewwww!

Now you know why I seldom leave comments on blogs. My ADD kicks in and I'm off on a new tangent. Never did leave a comment. Must go back and do that.

I used Rick Tulka's favored Sanford Design Ebony for the fly. There's no way on God's Green Earth Tulka managed the black lines I see on his drawings with just this pencil. Or maybe I should say there's no way on God's Green Earth that I can get the lines I see on his drawings with just this pencil. Frustration, disappointment. There must be something I'm missing. Must ponder on that.

While pondering I was staring at my happy little manikin sitting on my desk. He suddenly struck me as wonderful and needing to be drawn. Picked up the black Derwent.
Manny's been in this pose for quite some time. I don't remember why I posed him like this, but I remember it's supposed to be a vaudeville high kick with a cane and top hat. (Hear the music "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere, It's up to you New York, New York!")

That thing curving around his upper arm is a paperclip for the cane. Never could figure out a top hat for him.

One more doodle and I'm off to bed....

Realized if I keep drawing with pencils I should be drawing in a sketchbook, not on loose pieces of copy paper. The sketchbooks I own are too rough for drawing in pencil (in my opinion) and I don't want pencil drawings smudging around in my daily journal anyway.

Must see Dick Blick about a sketchbook with slick paper.

Yay! More art supplies!


Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

Great sketches... great info... now I wonder why oh why... I guess I don't understand why people work so hard on detailed pencil sketches that with a touch of the hand you can smudge it and ruin it, or erase it... pencil fades over time and will one day be gone entirely... ink will also fade over time... but not nearly as much as pencil.

Speck said...

I don't understand the allure of pencil drawing either. I'll admit some fabulous effects can be done with pencil, but they're all in black and white. It's OK, but it's smudgy. I don't like smudgy. I'd rather have color...paint color.