Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It’s chalk darn it!

As I mentioned in my last blog entry, I’m trying out Derwent’s Drawing Pencils right now in a piece called “Best Friends.” In my estimation there are several categories of drawings tools: ink, chalk, graphite, wax, charcoal, soluble, and metal (like scratchboard tools or silverpoint for example.) This, at least, is the way I categorize things in my head.

I have used drawing tools in all of the above categories and have definite preferences. My least favorite categories are chalk and charcoal. These include chalk pastels, chalk pencils, Conte crayons, and, of course, charcoal. Despite that opinion, I have used them quite a bit. My opinion about them echoes something the character of Matthew Quigley says in the wonderful movie “Quigley Down Under” As the villain, Marston lays dying, referring to an early conversation concerning Colt revolvers, Quigley tells him, "I said I never had much use for one. Never said I didn't know how to use it." That’s exactly how I feel about chalk and charcoal! Anyway, after trying to lay down the Drawing Pencils for several hours as I would wax-based Prismacolors, or in fact, any other colored pencils in my current stable, I had to smack my head and say, “Doh! They’re chalk, you silly girl!”

Thus began a sea change for the piece. I started laying the colors in as I would chalk or charcoal and my feelings of frustration started to fade. Here’s the piece as I’ve left it this evening. Much healthier. Still not delighted about using chalk, but hey, it is what it is. I’ll try to work with its better nature and stop fighting it.

"Best Friends"

Just for fun, here are the tools I’m using including tortillions and Sofft Knives for blending.

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