Saturday, May 21, 2011
Work time yesterday was devoted to attempting to get the texture of that coat to read correctly. As I have mentioned before in working in black and white, I feel defining variations in texture is key to making a work, work. Developing interesting layers of textures, one upon another, is what, I think, makes for an interesting graphite work and draws a viewer into the work. So with that in mind, I spent the better part of four plus hours yesterday, slowly and methodically layering subtle gray tones with a combination of 5H, 6H, 8H, 9H, 2H, a smidgen of H, a dab of F, cross hatching, circling and softly laying down combinations of all those graphite grades to accomplish a soft, even texture to represent the wool/felt of the coat. Some of those leads were quite pointed, some had rather blunted ends. Using a very soft touch, barely grazing the surface of the Bristol Board I work on, I first established an even, overall undertone as sort of indicated on that right sleeve now. Then, slowly added either softer or harder gradations over that base done in 8H building up layers to indicate the subtle texture of the cloth. All of those marks just caressing the surface so as not to leave any distinct linear appearance. It's a slow, laborious process but one that will, I hope, result in the appropriate texture in the end. Since this large area of the composition is going to be front and center in the finished work, it has to read very strong and so I'm taking my time to make certain that it will carry the importance that it needs to in the finished work.