Sunday, February 24, 2008
Cartoon Transfer for Charcoal Drawing
By Wednesday night, my friend Janné and I were ready to transfer our cartoon drawings of the model Valentina to the better quality Umbria paper for our charcoal drawings. Pictured here you can see my tracing paper that is used to transfer my original drawing to the new paper.
This method of transfer does not harm the original. I used a blue felt pen to trace over my drawing. Then on the back side of the tracing paper, I rubbed some soft B charcoal over my lines (Nitram brand – French and not available in the States, that I know of). I then position the tracing paper over my Umbria paper, measuring my vertical placement lines from the paper’s edge so that my figure is oriented properly on the paper. And then I use a blunt pencil to trace over my blue felt lines and transfer charcoal lines onto the Umbria.
My next step is to lay-in the tones, starting with the background. I use a soft B charcoal (stubs usually) to scrub-in the ‘dirt on paper.’ Then I use a soft sponge to even out the charcoal and try for some consistent and desired tone. This is not precise because until I see the model in pose, I cannot determine any tonal relationships. Janné took the image you see of me wiping the extra charcoal dust into the street of Via Ghibellina here in Florence, Italy. Vine charcoal is quite dirty and the only other window in my apartment opens up over another woman’s courtyard. She often has laundry hanging up, so it seemed a bit rude to give her the dust. So, go ahead and chastise me for trashing Florence. Some art production is not particularly environmentally friendly.
This last image shows you my basic transfer from a cartoon drawing on inexpensive paper to a tonal disegno on Umbria paper. So far, I like Umbria much better than the Somerset that I used for the drawing of Francesco. As you can see, I have a lot of blending to do in the background, once I establish my desired tones in each area. And, of course, the figure needs much refinement. The face is too garish for my taste, but having gone through this process before, I know she will not end up looking like this for long. Also, I do not often see the model’s face (depending on her and my movements and the fall of her hair during each posing session). However, I want to create her beautiful face before adding wisps of hair over it. And finally, I am pleased with the sexy wave-like shadow her body causes on the model stand.
Thank you for reading!
PS Buon Compleanno, Matteo!