Thursday, 1 January 2015

Part 1 Beginning Drawing: Matching graphite pencils to paper

One of the keys to success with pencils, graphite or coloured, is understanding the effect the paper has on the final result. The only way to finding out is through experimentation. However,  there is no right or wrong way; there is only a result which the artist likes!

Many books, publications and online resources recommend smooth paper for pencils work, but that is not necessarily the right choice. The choice should be about the final artistic result being sought. Smooth paper for realist works, whereas rough paper produces a loose and free effect. To demonstrate the different effects I have done a few examples of the possible effects with papers of differing surfaces whilst using the same pencils range. I used the same range of papers to maintain consistency. All the papers I used are those made by the St Cuthberts Paper Mill

The Grafwood graphite pencils range made by Caran d'Ache:  2H, HB, 3B, 5B, 7B, 9B (I will cover how to choose pencil grades in a separate tutorial)

First example

I used Sanders Waterford Hot Pressed (HP). The pencils produce a smooth and creamy effect and the blending is easy ( blended areas are in the middle of strip of tone). Smooth paper lends itself to realist work where detail is important and accurate shading is key.

Example 2

Using Sanders Waterford Cold Pressed (also known as NOT, i.e. not pressed) it is a slightly textured surface which breaks up the pencil lines producing a free effect and feel.

Example 3

Using St Cuthberts Mill  Bockingford Cold Pressed clearly shows the effect of slightly rough textured paper has on the pencil lines. This type of paper is still suitable for pencil work, for example, if rendering a textured subject such as tree bark.

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