This last Friday Rob nudged me way out of my comfort zone. He gave a demo using Adam (we have him for 3 more weeks).
Rob used some Twinrocker paper (I think it’s either calligraphy cream or Yale Cream) and showed how different nibs and techniques changed. Rob used a quill pen (it looked like a trimmed goose feather) which made some really delicate lines. After explaining some dos and don’ts he started drawing with an eiffel tower nib and more sepia ink. Rob drew the basic features (and I mean really basic) of Adam-mainly he just laid down a the basic map of Adam’s features.
Then Rob laid in what seemed like a very dark wash of paint in the shadow area of Adam. It really surprised me how dark he went. Watching Rob I got the idea that we were to go slowand make minute subtle changes as we went. About half way into the demo what had seemed like a reallydark shadow was actually about 60-70 percent dark, it just seemed lighter. At the end of the demo there was a remarkable drawing/study of Adam. There were marks where the nib had ‘screeted’ (my make up work) over the paper but it enhanced instead of detracting from the drawing. Then it was our turn.
I should confess here that I’ve used watercolors on and off since the 80s, more on than off-but I am familiar with how to use it. I should say I thought I was. I’d like to blame my surface (I used my moleskine sketchbook with has a hotpressed type surface; but really it was my problems with the materials.
I decided to paint Adam’s back and wanted to emphasis how the light was hitting the shoulders but I bit off way more than I should have. I just couldn’t seem to get things right. I fell so in ‘like’ with the way I was drawing his back that the figure lost it’s dynamic post and because-boring. Sigh.
I guess on the plus side I was willing to step out of my comfort zone (I really wanted to draw with
pencils or silverpoint).