Published (27 Dec 09)
By Kathleen Carrier
“Captured souls” is my on-going series of drawings. Hell, It’s my passion. The techniques I use range from traditional to bits and pieces of things I have learned along the way. Let me share a few:
1. Find a pencil that fits you. I have tried them all but I keep coming back to mechanical pencils. And I am talking about the ones that you can buy at any office supply store. I like .05, .07, and .09. They’re great because you don’t have to stop and sharpen them. Now they come in self feed type so you don’t even have to click the lead. Some might say it’s a little anal retentive to cover an entire 16x20 piece of paper with the .05, but that’s what I do. You decide what fits your hand. And there are times when other methods will work too.
2. Choosing your paper is important. I like Bristol which is a thicker paper. I do take my pages out of the sketch book while working on them. Vellum smooth is the smoothest paper I have found and, Strathmore makes a great one. Your pencil just glides across the paper.
3. Next you have to draw in a ruff out-line of your subject as starting point. I think most people who draw understand this point. When I say souls I am talking about your subject. And you will know it as soon as you see it; it’s something that you need to capture on paper. If it does not catch your heart. Then don’t draw it. Find that one that is you. Your muse. Even if it changes from time to time, everyone has a muse… find it. Mine is people.
4. Developing darks in your back ground. I am not saying to fill in the back ground first. But shade in parts that are in the back ground. Then take a light pencil and lightly shade the lighter tones of your drawing. For me it would be the faces. Developing as you go, getting darker. It’s at this point that I tend to move to the left side of my drawing and work my way to the right, (I am right handed) so that I have no worries about smearing my work. Laying in heavy with my pencil at this point adding bulk to my work.
5. White to Black. If I could teach one thing to anyone. This would be it because just by chance in talking to an artist friend of mine he said this, not necessarily directed at me but, about his work as it being the most important thing. It suddenly clicked in my mind and I can say it’s the one thing that made my art go from art to pieces of art that you can feel the passion in. He said that in every drawing you must have black and white and that you must have 10 shades in between! Think about it, we don’t live in a world of grays, do we? Try it do you have a drawing sitting that just does not speak to you? Try to add some black and white see what happens.
6. Another thing that really helps me is to turn my drawing upside down and draw that way for awhile. Especially if I am just filling in spaces. I am not focusing on the drawing and I am giving my mind a rest from looking at my drawing. So that when I turn it back upright I see it in a new light and maybe see something that I might have missed.
7. This one I think most people do after the completion of a drawing. I put it away for a day or so and then bring it out one last time. I would like to say that I’m completely satisfied and make no more revisions to it, but it seems I always find something. But I have made a deal with myself. That’s the last time that I will touch it, I know myself all too well. I can look at drawings from years ago that have won awards or that have been sold because people love them and I still see one more thing that could have been done. So, I’ve decided not to second guess my art, after this one last look.
So there you have 7 quick thoughts that I use in my life, take what you like and leave the rest. If it works for you pass it on, and maybe there will be another soul captured today.