Last night’s work:

Last night, I had basically had it with technology.  Between not being able to have full functionality at my main station and my mobile device constantly, randomly losing time, I decided to work on something which did not depend on high technology to get a good result.

I’m drafting this out before the fact.  Right now I’ve been awoken by a really strong skunk smell, and the resulting commotion; it is just before dawn, here.  Thus, I need to wait for good lighting, but if I play my cards right, maybe I can get this posted before I have to go.

Pencil sketch.  Needs adjustment -- will do soon.
Pencil sketch. Needs adjustment — will do soon.

This piece really…surprised me.  I had been encouraged by my Professor in Creative Process to keep working at the “flower” angle, especially after I told him what flowers meant to me.  What I did was intended as a mandala, but also works fairly well as an abstracted floral design.

This is done, so far, nearly entirely in HB pencil.  The work to this point took about an hour and a half…but was really calming.  I can, after all, do things independent of computers!  (It just requires getting a bit dirty.)  There was a slip-up near the beginning where I picked up an 8B pencil, thinking it was a 2B, though; I’m not sure that mark will come out, fully.  Right now, for me, the question is which media to proceed with.

I’ve realized that I can do a value-rich underdrawing, coat it in clear gesso, and paint on top of it…but I’m not sure how gouache (or transparent watercolor) will perform on top of gesso.  Plus, I have heard that my Scarlet Lake color (in gouache) may also be fugitive (which means it may fade if I display this piece without a UV protectant)…

I’m fairly certain that I don’t want to use acrylics on this.

I did the linework on a 6″x6″ watercolor paper block…not canvas; and the texture of my heavy body paints is such that I may lose detail if I use them.  Transparent watercolor would be an ideal medium…if it weren’t for the messiness of the underlying drawing.  I have a tendency to smudge my marks in pencil with my hand, so basically everything has at least a thin coating of graphite on it — not to mention the guidelines which I used to keep things close to even.

I have realized that I don’t want to just use the lineart, though.  I want to have some guide as to values (value = the lightness or darkness of a tone), because I don’t want this to be completely flat.  I could…go in with heavily diluted acrylics (using Glazing Medium), if I put clear gesso over the whole thing; then I could keep the underdrawing.

Or, I could erase as much unnecessary pencil as I could, then work at this with transparent watercolor, colored pencil, and use gouache for highlights.

Or I could go over the underdrawing with clear gesso and work with gouache on top, which is what I had initially planned.  I’m not sure whether this will work, though.  I’ve never used gouache on top of gesso, before; let alone clear gesso on top of watercolor paper.

I do have a throwaway piece of watercolor paper, though (it was flawed, so I cut it off the block before drawing this piece), with which I can test out my media.  That seems like the logical next step, before deciding what media to use on the final piece…

Or, hey, I could just use graphite and other pencils over the whole thing.  Maybe including watercolor pencil…

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paintedstone

Haru ("Codey") is a second-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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