Here is my most recent experiment.
I had a Ridgeman’s gesso panel lying around. As you know, I have been rearranging my studio so all kinds of things are turning up. I bought the panel a few years ago, thinking to try it out. It is traditionally gessoed which means that Ridgeman’s used calcium carbonate and titanium dioxide mixed with a gelatine glue rather than an acrylic gesso. It is a creamy white and feels soft and smooth.
I drew an idea from my sketchbook onto the panel. Then I began to draw it in with my Uniball Signo DX pen. It was scratchy and faint and didn’t feel good. So I thought a tiny brush with acrylic ink might work better. That was a mistake, the line blurred into the gesso.
So I returned to the pencil, which was beautiful on the buttery smooth surface.
Except for having to be very careful of smudging. Hence the square of tracing paper to place under my hand while drawing.
The photos don’t look blurry at the original size, so I recommend clicking on them to see them larger.
This is where I left her today. After I finish drawing the other pademelon and her right arm, I am thinking of going over the top with a wash of acrylic paint. Wish me luck, I don’t know how well the drawing will survive – whether it will smudge or get lost or something else I haven’t thought of. I also don’t know how this kind of gesso will take the acrylic paint. I could have experimented on another piece first, but I rarely find the patience to do that.
Look what I got this week! I saw it on Facebook and bought it over the weekend from nice people who delivered it to me. It is heavy and beautiful and perfect for the studio. And at the moment it is all clear and clean. That won’t last long.
One aside before I let you go. The things you get to decide after you finish a drawing: I was over 30 minutes moving these pieces of matt board around figuring out the exact composition for when I take it to the framer. A centimetre this direction, 2 millimetres that direction. And then of course, where I will sign it. Signing always makes me nervous for some reason. I think I would prefer not to sign my work, I don’t know why.
This wasn’t the final choice by the way, I forgot to take a photo of the final cropping decision.