Thursday, October 29, 2009

New drawings of the male nude model. Trying Wallis pastel paper for the first time!

Wednesday evening spent with pastels, paper, fellow artists, and a model...ah...bliss! Last night our (very full!!!) figure drawing group had the privilege of working with a terrific male model, and I thought it would be a great time to try Wallis pastel paper for the first time. This paper is primed on both sides, with one side having a very fine sand-paper texture to hold (as it claims) up to 25 layers of pastel. It is also (so it says) suitable for oils and other media. It's not for the faint of heart, or wallet...the pad I bought had 8 sheets and was almost $50! Thank goodness for Dick Blick coupons :)

Anyway...pushing fear that I'd f-up (pardon my pseudo bad language aside) I started with a wash of sepia watercolor to block in the figure, allowing in to flow and drip on the paper. I then used my (very pretty brand new piece of periwinkle chalk - sooooo yummy!) to block in some of the shadows.
I continued to build layers using brown pastel pencils - some deep and cool, other warm and reddish browns, to build up the shapes and depths in the shadows. I tried to leave the high lights fresh and "open".

I tried to not spend too much time on the face, but I did want to give enough information that you got a sense of where he was looking, and I loved all of the variety on his chin and lips and nose - the cool blues, warm browns, deep shadows.

I was also trying to make sure that he was "grounded" - sitting on the ledge of the model stand, leaning against the wall - so I did spend some time building up the shadow shapes around his torso and under his leg.

I loved that I could layer and re-work the Wallis paper. What I have to practice is HOW to effectively layer colors - sometimes if I put brown on top of blue I got a yucky mud, other times it created a great effect. Also, I tried to blot my watercolor with a paper towel, but that left bits of paper towel stuck to the surface. Hopefully I can gently remove those little pieces with a dry brush.
I can't wait to try it again!


Lauren Maurer said...

You and this paper are going to get along just fine! This is beautiful!

Julie B said...

Your work is so beautiful, and inspiring. I get lost in it every time I see it.
Thanks for sharing your process, and your adventures with Wallis paper!

Krystyna81 said...

Thank you Lauren and Julie...I look forward to trying again :) I talked with a wonderful pastel artist, Marsha Savage, last night and she recommended using a terry cloth towel to dab/blot - no paper towels next time! I will learn :)