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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Clean As A Whistle

JD, Lake Swimmer, Graphite, 6" x 8", TMDD

While we sprang forward an hour this morning, I used my Sun Torch anyway.  It looked as dark outside at seven thirty today as it did at six thirty yesterday. I have eight more sheets in my drawing pad. I think I will continue the drawing series with the extraordinary light that  is excellent for seeing exactly what I'm doing. In front of the light with my pencil, I've picked up a few insights:


I walk around the house with my knead eraser in my jean pocket so it's warmed by my body heat, easier to knead clean and handy to knead clean when watching TV, talking on the phone,  reading a book.

Stubs get dirty fast and when very dirty can be used as a pencil. that could be a good thing? But  dirty stubs used to blend will darken the value you so carefully laid down.  To avoid that, either don't go as dark as you would and let the stub do the rest or  use a clean stub.  I'm thinking I have to buy them by the gross and think of them as being disposable. I would have used a stub on JD, but I didn't have a clean one, so this drawing is a bit "grainy."

A drawing bridge sized to your format is better than a piece of vellum under your palm.  Should you get so absorbed in the drawing and forget to actually pick up the vellum and move it to the next spot, the paper will drag the graphite.  But keep cleaning the feet of the bridge too, for those will drag graphite and possibly even  mar the surface of the paper.

After sharpening or shaping leads on a sandpaper block, wipe them with a shammy. Graphite particles cling to the shaft.

A piece of vellum over the drawing will cut the drag of graphite by the cover of the drawing pad or the back of the last drawing. Just closing the drawing pad without the drawing protected this way  invites graphite transfer to the back of the previous sheet as you handle the pad. 



  1. The grainy look is wonderful, Linda... it gives this amazing portrait perfect texture.....and I love the light hitting JD's face!!
    I use my kneaded eraser all the time and it really has to be clean... I walk around with it and knead it clean as well... it's the perfect time to clean my pastels while watching T.V. as well.....I usually line my pastels by color value ..ready for workshop the next day.! Never a dull

    1. I like the grainy look best too--actually I prefer a lot rougher look than this. The lighting on his face pushed me to more gentle strokes. There' little direct, and mostly reflected which did interesting things to his skin. His mouth also got my attention. His lips look pump and soft with no hard outline. Not easy. Ears are always interesting. Each of us has our own uniquely ours ear. He his a distinct and my GS Zac's were also. I think I am going back to Zac and blow up his so I can do an ear study. Artists do tend to fudge on this body part. To fudge well, is to have drawn the ear precisely. Same with hands, nose and eye of course. Michelangelo's drawings of body parts--and Leonardo DV's too-- come to mind.

  2. I have been following the development of this drawing, although I have not had a chance to comment. Great ear! I also like the grainy look.

    1. Great features take time. In the womb, nine months; on paper, four days. 😊