Back in the studio after a little "play time" away I am working on some
"serious seeing." What I mean by this is the difficult job of seeing
everything in shades of black and white (grayscales).
As painters we are so attracted to color and its wonderful possibilities that we
often skip the hard part of learning proper values. Where is the darkest dark? what path
do the darker values take? where is the lightest light? and so on....
I've been working with graphite (pencil) for a while now and decided to try it
on a (for me) huge scale: 24 x 36.
I am working from a photo my daughter-in-law took in Nova Scotia.
It was a beautiful misty-grey morning and the only color that stood out was the
bright yellow canoe resting on the closest dock. The
photo really caught my attention so I got her permission to work with it. The size presents a few
challenges that a paper sketch does not:
* since all the values are relative it is a constant adjustment process: I have to remember to step back
often and see what needs to be lightened or darkened relative to something
I just added.
* leaning across the piece can be messy, the graphite will smear and transfer unless it is
sprayed with fixative, but once you spray you cannot erase or lighten a line.
* straight lines are hard to keep straight when working 36" across...I have to remember to
find my ruler and adjust when things slide downward or wiggle off to the unknown.
But even with the challenges I am enjoying this piece, I'm quite curious to see how it turns
out...I'll try to remember to share it with you.