Sunday, May 1, 2016

More Experimentation With Charcoal

After a short return to painting I decided to revisit charcoal.  First I did this small drawing;

art drawing charcoal wheeler farm shed barn agriculture


"Wheeler Farm Shed"

Charcoal, 9.45" X 6.92"

Small works are a good way to get lots of practice with a medium in a relatively short time so these first few charcoal experiments have been on the small side.  However, at least for me drawing still takes considerably more time than painting.  Working small also allows me to try different kinds of paper, in this case I used Stonehenge which I found to have a little more texture than I like but I made it work.  The drawing showcases how charcoal is good at providing strong contrasts.  The subject is a shed at a local working historic farm owned by Salt Lake County.  I took a little liberty with the scene, in particular I added a window to the shed.

I have to admit I missed color a bit so I wondered how to put color in a charcoal drawing without having the color compete with the charcoal.  I decided to try an experiment, this is the result;

art drawing charcoal abandoned shed hay shelter landscape rural


"Soon Forgotten"

Watercolor, charcoal and pastel, 7" X 10"

I started with Arches hot pressed watercolor paper for this one.  After lightly outlining the composition in graphite I applied watercolor washes in various subtle colors.  Once the  paper was dry I started drawing using the charcoal.  Every now and then I decided it needed a touch more color and used pastel pencil but I was always careful to keep it subtle.   I still wanted this to look like a charcoal drawing, just with a bit of color.  To finish I splattered a bit of watercolor in the foreground to add texture and interest.  The subject is a scene that used to exist in the lot next to where I live.  Unfortunately the owner sold the lot where he used to keep sheep and horses to a developer who promptly leveled everything, (why couldn't they have at least saved the apple tree?) that was nearly two years ago, the lot is still empty.  Luckily I took photos before the lot was cleared, so I guess this little drawing is a tribute of sorts.  I really like how this turned out, it has a bit of a tonalist look. I'm sure I'll be experimenting with this process more.

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