And so, the journey continues. I think I'm finally beginning to find my way around the department, which is both good and bad since I will be taking a break from assigned projects for the next couple of months due to Anatomy! Before that, however, I have to tweak my carbon dust hipbone drawing.
I really enjoy carbon dust as a medium since it's like a combination between drawing and painting. We used chemical grade carbon dust (looks like fine black powder) for brushing on and Wolff's Carbon Pencils for touch ups and finer details. I was partial to the pencil, of course, since I love fine line art.
Without further ado, the process! I took all of my photographs at the end of the day, so each one represents a full day's work.
Day One: Background, background, background.
I used large complexion brushes and a Japanese Hake brush to lay down the background values first with the dust. It was a strange way of painting, since it takes a very long time to build up the correct value. The background alone in this picture probably took 50 or more washes with the brush. This is the most important step because if the value of the background is off, the entire bone and shadow area will also be off. It would still look good, but it would be a mistake that even an undiscerning eye would see as "just off."
Day Two: "sculpting out" the bone
This was probably my favorite working day of this project. Once I laid the shadows in, I went back with a kneaded eraser (And various other erasers. I cannot live without this Stanford Tuff Stuff eraser anymore.) and took out the highlights on the bone and in the background. This was the first time the bone started to really take shape. I call it "sculpting" because it really felt more like I was pulling the bone out from the paper than putting it on top. Philosophical, I know, but it's the kind of thing that makes me super excited. : )
Day Three: Refining
This was a dog day for me. I put much more detail into the area above the acetabulum (the big, dark hole) where there are a bunch of foramina (tiny,little holes) and also refined the blotches in the shadow. This day was all about transitioning from the general to the details. I'd rather not talk about it...
Day Four: Get your magnifying glass
Ok, so I didn't actually use a magnifying glass, but it was all about the details. As my teacher would say, this is the day it stops looking like "drift wood" and begins looking like a bone. This is where I got to use my lovely carbon pencils and Tuff Stuff eraser, my favorites!
Day 5: Critique Day
Here is the critique ready piece matted. I was incredibly nervous, not gonna lie. It's a little nerve wracking having all of the faculty, some of the most established and acclaimed illustrators in the country, looking at and critiquing your work. I survived though, with a much better idea about what I executed well and what I need to tweak (which thankfully isn't a lot!). Oh, in case you're wondering, I took this photo in overhead, florescent light, so it's not as good or dramatic as I want. : ( Still, gives you an idea though!
I just wanted to put this in here because I was thinking about it all week. I've been listening to Pandora radio stations all week (on my free Pandora app, which I love!) while I worked on my bone. By the end of the week, I actually found that I had different musical taste depending on which part of the bone I was working on...it was weird. I couldn't listen to the wrong kind of music or it would totally throw me off. So, here's the bone in terms of working music! Maybe you can tell which musical artist gives me the best inspiration. : )
As you can see, I listened to everything from classical choral ensembles by Eric Whitacre, to hardcore metal band Dragonforce to 50 Cent. So I have an eclectic taste in music...sue me. : ) There may also be some BSB featuring 90's pop in there too...guilty pleasure.
Next week, we will be oriented into the new anatomy building an laboratory. Beginning the last week in August it's goodbye studio, hello anatomy and dissection! But don't think that's the end of my drawings! I get to stick around at the end of class and draw from my cadaver. More to post on that later, I'm sure.