subtractive pineapple in vine charcoal

Playing around with charcoal and kneaded eraser. This was done without using a model, so it’s probably not as interesting as it would have been if I’d actually seen a pineapple plant. 🙂

The pineapple I drew the other day (without a model) for kicks has dried all the way.  The Aqua Net worked!  The only problem is that I think the Aqua Net may have slightly damaged my drawing board because of the moisture in the spray.  As I was pulling up the Artist’s Tape, as well, the board fragmented and began to lift up.  I should try Painter’s Tape, next time, and spray on the back of the drawing board.  This, or get a melamine board specifically for sealing charcoal images.

I’m pretty sure I used a Layout paper from Borden & Riley for this; I taped down all sides of the image to my drawing board, propped the board up against the tub in the bathroom, and then sprayed. This was with the bathroom window open to vent the fumes.  I closed the door after I was done to let the vapors dissipate.  Initially, the image crinkled up, but as it dried, it flattened out again.  I could scan it!  😀  Plus, the vapors are gone now.

I was thinking of the little pineapples I’ve seen growing in Hawaii, and the tiny ones I’ve seen at the produce market, when I was drawing this.  I’m sure that eventually I’d be able to find one this tiny IRL, but it wouldn’t be attached to a plant, and I doubt it would be any time soon.

I also was hesitant to obscure my pineapple by putting leaves in front of it.  To me, it’s noticeable, but maybe that’s just because I was paying attention to that.

To myself in the future and others who may be interested:  This drawing was made by rubbing vine charcoal into the surface of a paper, and then erasing out the light spots.  The only place where I went back in with charcoal pencil and more vine charcoal, are the soil and pot.  I’m sure the soil is a 4B or 6B General’s Charcoal pencil, and the pot itself is more soft vine charcoal.

Where this could be improved:  If I were doing this for class, I’d blow up the image so it would be larger, then I’d focus on an upper corner of the drawing.  I’d put more detail into the fruit itself, and I’d not be as scared to draw the leaves in front of the fruit.  However, I also think that illustrating only parts of the leaves showed an interplay of light and shadow which wasn’t fully grasped at the time.  With the differing values of the leaves, it’s very obvious to me that some are shown in front of others, which was also an effect I liked.  I’d like to try this from an angle slightly above the plant, so it wouldn’t just be a profile image.

I did get this paper in a larger size, so I can try working out the comic composition I made the other day, both in marker (Copic, Pitt, and Micron) and in subtractive drawing with charcoal, as I’ve done here.  There is a lighter Pitt cold gray color than that which I have; it could be interesting to use the Pitts as versus the Copics, and see which one gives me a smoother final product.

I think the best part about drawing this way is that if something happens that you don’t want, rub it out or put some more vine charcoal on it, and try again!  It’s really forgiving.  🙂

Happy burst over?  😉



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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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