Vine charcoal was the perfect medium in helping to create this soft toned atmospheric piece.
Using a Sepia Light Conte Pencil, the figure was drawn, making sure the 'quality of line' was good as this drawing would be seen in the completed piece. The acrylic primed rough watercolour paper was a great surface to work on. Once I was satisfied with the drawing, the shadows were given a wash of Chinese Black Ink ( there is just a unique luminous quality to chinese ink and I love using it whenever possible ).
To help get my bearings I now went in with the lightest light I planned for the piece.
A splash of white acrylic (with a touch of raw umber) carved out the structure of the man's head and shoulder. Though I had a rough idea where I wanted the white to go, I was always aware of how the composition was developing as I was applying it and adjusting accordingly. For example, I had planned to paint down over the man's left shoulder more, but then the drip happened and looked so good I had to leave it. Acrylic dries fast so decisions had to be made quickly.
With the lights and darks established I went in with a little more detailing for the figure with white chalk, charcoal and the sepia light pencil. I had to be careful not to do too much or risk losing the mood of the piece..
I have this lovely archival tan paper I've been itching to use and thought a 'trois crayons' (technique using three colours - sanguine, white and black) would look gorgeous on it...
The shadow patterns on the model were intricately interesting and I loved that she also had a tattoo on the side of her rib cage that spelt out Honour, Strength and Loyalty..
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