Monday, March 30, 2009

New Quotation Card - Step 3

A rather tedious step, this is. I have hand traced onto vellum translucent paper the central sketch, borders and words. This is now a line drawing which is the basis for the painting. Should I make an unforgivable mistake or not like my choice of colors, I can use this line drawing to start again.

Tomorrow I will trace over this entire line drawing again with a page of graphite paper beneath it, thus transferring the design onto a page of watercolor paper in preparation for painting. (I won't be showing you the result because it will look the same as this step.)
After transferring the design, the real fun -- painting -- will begin!

NOTE: Below are two comments I received about this post followed by my answer.
Comment: What an interesting concept! were you trained in illustration? I could certainly use more structure when I work. I love the theme of this card.
Comment: I've used this transfer process before...it's very tedious. I always used it for oil though and had to put a light gesso coating over it to keep the graphite from sucking up into the oils...do you have an issue with that (and coverage) with watercolor? Or are you using colored pencil or another medium?



Emerlye Arts
Answer: I wasn't formally trained in illustration, although I have studied it. I learned a lot of shortcuts from a friend who was a professional designer -- specifically, to do a lot of my sketch work on vellum instead of paper, to use my computer and scanner more to assist the process (see step 2 blog post,) and to make clear line drawings instead of working from sketches, which are messy (see step one blog post.)
I am developing a new technique, which I may try with this design, and which I use in most of my black & whites now. That is: making the line drawing very tightly in black ink, scanning that into the computer, dulling the line down to a very light gray, and printing it right onto my watercolor paper. I use that instead of transferring graphite line by hand. That way the line doesn't bleed, erase, or smear and if I need to start over, it is easy as pie to simply print out another template to paint on. If the line is light enough, the watercolor paint covers it completely.
This printing process can be used with acrylic on paper. I don't know about oil. If you print on the paper or canvas, then spray it with crystal clear acrylic coating, you can paint on it. You may be able to print the line darker than with watercolor, then paint a light gesso coat over it before painting. I don't know.
With colored pencil the process is very easy if you print your line drawing onto paper. With graphite transfer, the graphite tends to smear a bit. Watercolor works well with either graphite or print, if the line is light enough. The watercolor paint seems to fix the graphite nicely, unlike your oil, which sucks it up.

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