©Xan Blackburn 2011
I have a commission to finish before the Fall Portrait Marathon, but I can’t tell you who it is. It’s a secret. A surprise. A prezzie! While I wait for the gessoed panel to dry, I thought I’d tease you with mysterious bits of process, while obscuring the final product. Sounds like fun, huh?
So, on your left you see a bit of the sketch to be transferred to the panel. Some of it you can probably figure out, but … who can it be?? (If you think you’ve guessed, keep the secret! You can ask me privately if you really can’t resist. 😉 )
|Mystery Sketch getting
Conte crayon for tranferring
This painting will be 16″ x 20″, and I like to do my sketch on my computer (makes fixing mistakes so painless!), but that’s clearly bigger than my printer can print. What to do? Print 8×10 sections and cut and tape, is what. It’s also bigger than my remaining scraps of transfer paper, so … tape it to the window, backside out, and scribble all over with Conte crayon (like chalk pastel).
|gessoed 16 x 20 panel|
The Ampersand Gessobord panel I’m using is a little too slick for my current tastes, so I sanded it kind of roughly, then put a layer of gesso on it with rough brush-strokes, to give it some more tooth (what we artists call “texture” when we’re talking about something we’re painting on). I added some Naples yellow to it, which gave it a mellow warmth. Unfortunately, I used a funky Japanese brush, which shed hairs as I went, necessitating a lot of cussing and quick scraping and re-brushing to get them out without leaving weird scratched-up bits in the surface. I used that brush to give more tooth, but I won’t use it that way again! Maybe not at all. (cussing stupid brush!)
|bit of drawing, with “leash” taped down|
Once the drawing, the pastel, and the gessoed panel were all ready to come together, I placed the drawing carefully, conte-side down, on the board. To keep it from shifting around and messing up my transfer (don’t want it to come out looking like a Picasso, this time), I used some removable drafting tape to make some little “leashes”, using strips of paper taped to the back, folded over and taped to 3 places on the front of the drawing. You can see two of them ready at the top of the panel above. Like this >>
That’s where I am right now. After that, we took the dogs for a walk, and now it’s time for dinner (I think Mexican, tonight, even though we forgot to get avocados! Horrors!)
Thanks for looking!