Saturday, July 26, 2008

Results of the Virtual Sketch Date.....


Final version for the Virtual Sketch
by MaryAnn Cleary
charcoal and conte on a toned MiTienes paper, image size ~ 8 x 8 inch

Below I thought that I would show the process of how I came up with this sketch. Last night I printed out the photo and cropped it somewhat. I then did a reall quick sketch to figure out how I wanted to lay everything out and move things around. This morning as I sat out on my deck (an absolutely gorgeous morning) and watched as folks drifted down the river in inner tubes, I worked on the sketch.


The first thing that I did was tape down the paper and then draw in the drawing with a conte crayon. Once everything looked like I wanted it, I then took a piece of cloth to blend everything into the paper. I continued this process using a cloth, a chamois (this actually will pick up the conte), erasers and a blending stick. I do draw with the eraser to pull off areas where I want the conte lighter. (I had a pic of this, but of course it turned out blurry so I couldn't use it).





The last thing to do is to add the black charcoal and the white highlights....for me, this can be a little intimidating as I always want to work it more than I should. One needs to be very careful at this point or it turns ugly. Don't worry though....there is always the handy, dandy eraser, but sometimes this won't even work. The trick is to take advantage of the toned paper to use for the midtones and then use the conte to add values along with the white and black.

Enjoy! Also, a thank you to Jeanette Jobson and Leslie Hawes for putting this together. Leslie for supplying the reference photo and Jeanette for administering the project. Thanks!

19 comments:

Paulette said...

Hi MaryAnn,
Beautiful work!
Loved seeing it come together.

Rose Welty said...

MaryAnn,

This is a beautiful moody piece...almost like the sun is rising there. Interesting how you and Jeanette employed similar materials but came up with entirely different feels to your pieces.

I love that about the VSDs!

Thanks for joining in.

MaryAnn Cleary said...

Thank you, Paulette. I love working with conte on toned paper.

MaryAnn Cleary said...

Thanks, Rose.

I still need to check everyone's sketch out. This is my first time doing this. I really enjoyed it.

"JeanneG" said...

Hi Maryann. It really looks good in this medium. Thanks for showing the process.

leslie said...

Maryann,
Conte is a great medium, isn't it? Using a chamois is a new wrinkle for me. I don't blend, so tools like that aren't something I hear about. Very cool.
And you get extra extra points for sketching while you could have been tubing! That takes will power :)
All credit goes to Jeanette Jobson for this months Virtual Sketch Date. I contributed the color photo, but Jeanette did the grayscale photo adaptation, and absolutely everything else.

Jeanette said...

There is such a dramatic feel to this. I like it a lot. I'm alway s drawn to monotone, its a true skill to make it look good.

It looks as if we used similar supports and media too. I love seeing the views of the piece through others eyes.

Jennifer Rose said...

Very dark and moody piece, I like it :D Makes me want to go back to using Conte, think the last time I used them I was 11 :p

Stacy said...

Mary Ann, I really like this! There is so much energy in it. And I love how my eye is drawn to the lines of the stems and leaves. Toned paper definitely has to be added to my list of things to try.

Sydney Harper said...

Beautiful drawing! The highlights and shadows work very well in this.

Sharon said...

This is a beautiful drawing and I really appreciate the tutorial. The range of values make it very striking.

Sharon said...

And unlike a black/white drawing using graphite or charcoal, I really like the warmth of the paper and conte crayon.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Oh, I love the dark and light lines. They really add movement.

MaryAnn Cleary said...

Thank you all for your kind comments.

This was my first VSD and I love seeing everyone else's interpretation of the photo. What fun!

I definitely want to do this again.

Michael said...

Conte is a medium that I have always wondered about, but never attempted to use. You did a wonderful job blending it with the charcoal. Very nice work.

MaryAnn Cleary said...

Thanks, Michael. It is one of my favorites.

laura said...

Beautiful, I especially love the leaves--there shapes are so convinicing--and the way use use both line and shading. Just lovely.

Quilt Knit said...

I love the Conte! We had to do tons of Conte and Our Master's Sketchbook were filled with Conte. The Sepia, The Whites-those whites sign as no other, The Rich blacks! Oh, you have made my hands and arms ache for Conte. Well, I still have a photo and now off to the store. Your fault.

Love the artwork, so delicate.

Sherrie Roberts
Sorry, "Work at Home" has been a little more stressful than first envisioned. The great part is the walks on the beach and the photographing and sketches.

MaryAnn Cleary said...

Thank you, Sherrie. Conte is wonderful to work with. I, too, especially like the sepia tones. And then at the very end, it is delightful to "punch" the drawing with the white conte.