WIP update 1 – Graphite Artifact – The Waves – dealing with problems

I’ll try to keep a bit more control over the progression.

I knew ! I knew I was a liar…

…A liar to myself, and other people when I wrote that little innocent sentence in last post 😀

AH ! AH ! AH !

I remember that I heard the laugh of a little inner voice while I was typing that.

The voice surely noticed something that I missed when preparing my panel…

I slowly realized that, when I met an unexpected problem during the work:

Graphite didn’t want to stick on the support.

I suddenly suspected some negligence from myself when I prepared the support…

g-e-s-s-o“, spelled the inner whispering voice…


I now realize that during the whole previous post, I didn’t have to type once one of my most reccurent words…

Guess it ? It’s “Gesso.”

I forgot to use one of main usual toys during the panel’s preparation !

How did it happen ?

Can’t really say, but now I can tell you, that a raw fibreboard panel with a white underlay of paint does not react like a well prepared fibreboard panel with gesso !

Not at all.

Dealing with the situation.

  • Nature of the problem: graphite couldn’t get a durable grip on the surface… No way to go deep in the dark shades like I’m used to do. And the whole thing became quickly some greasy graphite mess.
  • Solution 1: Destroy the whole with a good old layer of… Gesso! Easy, efficient, but already done and wouldn’t teach me anything new.
  • Solution 2: Trying to fix the support on the fly, and explore more about mixes of painting and drawing.

Action : let’s opt for Solution 2.

First step : protecting what has already been done under a layer of acrylic binder (with a bit of blue/green painting)

That approach will present three new problems :

  • Erasers will be completely useless on what has already been drawn : once protected with the binder, graphite will resist most common aggressions.
  • the protected area is now glossy.
  • Graphite drawing is almost impossible on that glossy area…

“Wait… What ?”

OK… No panic :p

Now : we have secured our initial drawing from further damage. That was the emergency.

Second step: Our next goal is to make the graphite find a grip again on the panel, because we want to draw above all this…

The “No more erasers” problem will be solved by painting… It’s now a mixed-media thing… Which is something I like 🙂

I start to break the darkest areas with a layer of white translucent acrylic paint. This will have some interesting effects

  • the glossy aspect of the binder layer will be neutralized by the mate paint layer
  • the painted area will give that grip I’d want to find for the next graphite drawing layers.
  • The initial drawing will have some interesting watermark effect, which opens to some new possible applications.

Move forward with these new parameters.

Now, starts a new kind of game for me : trying to make difficult to see where the drawing and painting start or stop.

Here’s the current state of the panel. I think I’m still following my initial idea of wavy movement, but I’ll have to manage both construction and translucent effects with more precision on next steps.

And that’s where we stand for today 🙂

There’s still tons of work to be done on this one, as well as on my other current paintings, and that’ll last as long as they’ll have something to teach me 🙂

Until next time, thank you for your time,

See you and have fun 😉