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Old 01-02-2018, 03:25 PM
woodenpalette woodenpalette is offline
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Creating white high lights

Hey everyone!

I was wondering if someone could help me.
I am trying to create bright white highlights to my drawings...layer the highlight over medium valued graphite and sometimes charcoal.

I see on Youtube that many artist use a gel pen but I do not want to add ink to my drawings.

Artist like Dirk Dzimirsky uses white charcoal or colored pencil. I have both of these but mine does not want to stick to the paper and def does not come out bright white...more transparent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVVGSXrgknk

The above video shows what I want to achieve. Notice the highlights on the lips and nose.
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Old 01-02-2018, 04:12 PM
Moises Menendez Moises Menendez is online now
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Re: Creating white high lights

I had the opportunity to attend a workshop with Dirk in Arizona three years ago. Although he used graphite and white paper his technique or any other artist's technique is the same. Another great artist working on charcoal is David Kassan, from New York. When it comes to highlights or white hair or beard on a white paper an eraser is all what you need. However, when using charcoal a toned paper is needed in order to have a middle value. After applying the charcoal on the paper a highlight is created by applying white chalk pencil or white "charcoal". I noticed that when you do that the area sometimes turns gray or bluish since it mixes with the black charcoal so sometimes it is better to erase the area in question and apply the white chalk. Do not use white ink! A great video to learn this technique is given by David Kassan in you Tube.
I have a work done with Dirk using only graphite. This young girl photograph was given to all the attendances at that particular workshop.

The other work was done on a toned paper suggested by David and using pan pastel, charcoal and white chalk.
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Old 01-02-2018, 05:08 PM
woodenpalette woodenpalette is offline
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Re: Creating white high lights

Moises! Thank you for your reply!

I think I will have to experiment with toned paper ect. Thank you for sharing your work. Its gorgeous! I am so jealous because I would so love to attend one of Dirk's workshops. Dirk states that he does use white charcoal.
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Old 01-02-2018, 06:09 PM
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Re: Creating white high lights

I'll echo what Moe said. I use the white of the paper for highlights. For me that is why it is important to get the whitest paper I can - some paper is cream colored which makes the highlights less distinct. For the brightest highlights - eye reflections for instance - I will leave the paper white and draw around the highlight, slowly creeping in on the actual shape. Once I put graphite on the paper I will never get it quite back to plain paper so avoiding graphite on an area is best.



For other light areas - such as light hairs - I will use an eraser and gently erase the individual hairs. Lastly I will go over them with a pencil and blend them into the surrounding hair mass as necessary.



For highlighted skin I will use a rather hard grade of graphite like 6H. I almost never leave the paper bare under my subject because it tends to make them look translucent or even transparent. The secret is really in layering.



It seems impossible but you really can draw white on white paper with dark graphite. It's an illusion which is all 2D art really is anyway.

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Old 01-03-2018, 04:19 AM
tiago.dagostini tiago.dagostini is offline
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Re: Creating white high lights

Using white chalk for highlights is usually reserved for when drawing into toned paper. Even on those cases is better to reserve the area of the paper blank and apply the highlight. Trying to cover some area already drawn upon is always problematic unless you are using ink (like gel pens)
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Old 01-04-2018, 01:52 PM
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Re: Creating white high lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiago.dagostini
Using white chalk for highlights is usually reserved for when drawing into toned paper. Even on those cases is better to reserve the area of the paper blank and apply the highlight. Trying to cover some area already drawn upon is always problematic unless you are using ink (like gel pens)

Agree that white chalks tend to NOT mesh well with white and cream papers ( unless you mix colors to harmonize the color families); White chalk works fine right over the top of charcoal tones on toned papers - especially /particularly on the cooler/blue-er papers - like (Canson Mi-Tientes) sky blue and light blue - the white charcoal ( a chalk pencil by Generals) is in the same color family or hue angle as the paper..

Kevin
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Old 01-04-2018, 02:17 PM
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Re: Creating white high lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinwueste
Agree that white chalks tend to NOT mesh well with white and cream papers ( unless you mix colors to harmonize the color families); White chalk works fine right over the top of charcoal tones on toned papers - especially /particularly on the cooler/blue-er papers - like (Canson Mi-Tientes) sky blue and light blue - the white charcoal ( a chalk pencil by Generals) is in the same color family or hue angle as the paper..

Kevin
Excellent info here, but I'm a little confused when I get to the end of the sentence... can you help clarify for me?
Quote:
white charcoal ( a chalk pencil by Generals) is in the same color family or hue angle as the paper..
doesn't that mean the white paper? But the start of the informative sentence begins with
Quote:
white chalks tend to NOT mesh well with white and cream paper.
This is a very interesting topic. I've tried once, and yes, the white General charcoal pencil blended into the greyed tones on the paper ~ here you're sharing it can be lain in successfully on top as white? I'd love a tip on that. I keep making a mess no mater how lightly I apply the white.Thanks in advance. Interesting post!
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:02 PM
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Re: Creating white high lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by KolinskyRed
Excellent info here, but I'm a little confused when I get to the end of the sentence... can you help clarify for me? doesn't that mean the white paper? But the start of the informative sentence begins with This is a very interesting topic. I've tried once, and yes, the white General charcoal pencil blended into the greyed tones on the paper ~ here you're sharing it can be lain in successfully on top as white? I'd love a tip on that. I keep making a mess no mater how lightly I apply the white.Thanks in advance. Interesting post!

Yes you can do it in quicker drawings ( see below - both from live model) and in more careful work to create very subtle transitions... the key ( in perhaps more clear terms ) is the color family of the charcoals/chalks is in the ball-park of the paper ( they are close to the same color or hue/family.. charcoals and white chalk (pencils - Generals particularly) are fairly blue.. so the cooler papers integrate them easily. This in my experience. Others' mileage may vary!

right over top..



and in the light blue variant..

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Old 01-04-2018, 06:06 PM
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Re: Creating white high lights

Thanks for the clarification! A very interesting post. I think too, in some very small way my paper was on the cheap/thin side ~ which *may* not have helped.

Wow, just searched WC for "white charcoal"! A whole slew of interesting posts! A cuppa tea it is!!

Last edited by KolinskyRed : 01-04-2018 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 01-05-2018, 12:36 PM
woodenpalette woodenpalette is offline
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Re: Creating white high lights

Thank you everyone for contributing. When you refer to white chalk....are we talking about chalk that goes on black board or soft pastels? Huge difference.
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Old 01-05-2018, 01:28 PM
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Re: Creating white high lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodenpalette
Thank you everyone for contributing. When you refer to white chalk....are we talking about chalk that goes on black board or soft pastels? Huge difference.

Mostly I use ( and refer above to-) Generals "White Charcoal" which is a misnomer brand-name for their own white chalk pencils ( compressed (Calcium Carbonate) chalk in an encased wood pencil). It is quite close to pure chalk ( often used on blackboards) but is firmer due to the use of binders, heat and pressure to insert it into pencils.

Kevin
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Old 01-05-2018, 01:36 PM
woodenpalette woodenpalette is offline
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Re: Creating white high lights

Kevin - so General's white charcoal is NOT charcoal at all? I have also tried to use Derwents pastel pencils but it is not ass effective applying it over graphite. The charcoal seems to work better. I realized the KEY here is to keep the paper white and then apply the charcoal. I also want to experiment with toned paper since I have not done that before.
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Old 01-05-2018, 03:44 PM
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Re: Creating white high lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodenpalette
Kevin - so General's white charcoal is NOT charcoal at all? I have also tried to use Derwents pastel pencils but it is not ass effective applying it over graphite. The charcoal seems to work better. I realized the KEY here is to keep the paper white and then apply the charcoal. I also want to experiment with toned paper since I have not done that before.

I am NOT a fan of Derwent color pencils /pastel "" pencils.. I love their color selections but - they are:

super waxy
don't erase
do not appear to allow the next color /pencil to integrate with them..
also - their white pencil is very gray..

now I bet there is a Derwent expert out there who knows how these dogs work but I have not met him/her yet! Generals White Charcoal is not charcoal at all.. I ask my questions - have you ever seen something (like wood, say) burnt that isn't dark/black or grey ? (here's where the internet nerds will chime in and say ''blah blah bones burned at high temperature are white.." ( these are people that like arguing and are not looking to maybe learn something).. It's just a weird brand name.. It's chalk!

oh - what makes the Generals White Charcoal pencil so good ? It's very bright white, lays down beautifully, can be erased and integrated with graphite or various charcoals and pastels - and it's the cheapest white chalk pencil! When is a Ferrari sold at Yugo prices ? here it is!

Kevin
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Old 01-05-2018, 05:42 PM
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Re: Creating white high lights

I don't know if this will help, but Alfredart here generally has used Derwent sepia pencils on Strathmore paper (looks like a gray) for the last several years for most of his drawings.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:09 PM
Sensei_Shun Sensei_Shun is offline
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Re: Creating white high lights

If you want something to appear brighter, you need to make the area surrounding it darker. Everything your eyes perceive is relative to the things around it.
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