Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Self Portrait and a Lesson Learned About Vine Charcoal

I've been using a lot of vine charcoal lately. You can't get the deep, rich blacks that you get with compressed charcoal, but it's really malleable and fun to work with. So malleable, in fact, that if you don't hit it with fixative you can pretty much wipe away an entire drawing with your fingers or, if you're as clumsy as I am, you might drop your drawing and send it sliding, face-down, across your kitchen floor and wipe out the bottom half of the face in a self-portrait that you were pretty happy with. It's possible that this resulted in a few phrases being uttered that were not entirely appropriate for younger readers. Being the fully-grown adult that I am, I then proceeded to throw a tantrum and put the drawing in the closet for abut two weeks before I worked up the gumption to pull it out and re-draw the mouth and the neck. From here on out, I vow to keep the fixative close at hand when working with vine.

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