Basic 101: Class 12
Swabs: Not Just for Ears Anymore!
Last time, we feature noted charcoal and graphite artist, Nancy Anthony. Nancy claim to fame are her marvelously drawn portraits in graphite and charcoal. The other thing that she is famous for is her ability to create an underpainting using either charcoal or graphite.
Many of you use swabs like Q-Tips or Johnson’s Baby Swabs for hygienic purposes. You should not really stick them in your ears but people do—it just seems like the natural thing to do with the darn things. I experimented with several types of swabs for this project and discover a few things:
Use a hard, stiff swab as opposed to a flexible one if you are using Q-tips or Johnson Baby Swabs..
working the blending in a circular motion while applying gentle pressure seems to work best.
You can load the cotton with the graphite or charcoal—my way of doing it was by twirling the swab across a rectangular piece of charcoal. This seems to produce a uniform load of charcoal.
I am doing a demonstration of a dolphin using what is called a buccal swab. A buccal swab is a DNA collection device that you find in paternity home test kits or you may see them used in courtrooms (child support cases) or on television cheese fests such as Montel or Maury.
I have them color coded—pink for mother, blue for father and yellow for the child—I used a pink one for the dolphin.
Buccal swabs are glorified Q-tips. The only difference is that they are conveniently long. You can obtain these swabs at any drug store—they might also be called surgical or culture swabs. They are convenient because the long handle means that you can hold the swabs like a pencil. The other benefit is that because they are sterile, they come wrapped in separate packages which means that you can replace them in the package for later re-use with no fuss or mess.
About the Demo
—as you now know, I now place the demo instructions on the photo so that you can observe my comments along side the drawing. I worked from a photo reference as well as from a pencil sketch that I absent-mindedly doodled off onto a phone log.
Now, because I did the dolphin this week, I thought that it would be a nice break for us if we steered away from inanimate objects for the week and did an animal. I am supplying the photos from Reference Library for you to use. The photos are copyright free and were donated courtesy of WC member and noted animal photographer, Crias to the WC Image library. Also, Katherine T is using the same photos in the color pencil forum. I pm’d her to let her know that I wanted to use them and she graciously consented so go check out her thread in the cp forum “bad hair day” to see what the cp artist will be doing with this subject. For our purposes, the projects for this week are to help strengthen your familiarity with charcoal.
Here are the instructions:
1. DO THE UNDERPAINTING FIRST OF YOUR SUBJECT AND THEN POST TO THE CLASS.
2. NEXT, COMPLETE THE PIECE PAYING SPECIAL ATTENTION TO LIGHTS DARKS AND TEXTURES.
3. ABOVE ALL HAVE FUN!!
Here is the demo: