Thursday 18 December 2014

Drawing on expression for Thorner Art Group

I get a real thrill when demonstrating with black and white media since tonal drawing and painting at the same time with charcoal, ink, black pastel, Conte is really exciting. 

Mixing drawing and painting media together is what I do in the studio in preparation for my 'big' paintings so it was great to start one for Thorner Art Group in North Leeds close to where I live.

At first I begin by creating the design and tonal arrangements with loose Nitam charcoal before switching to black ink washes and then back again to Nitram charcoal and pastels in combination. Working vertically I allow loose washes with big brush strokes to run down the sheet which is very liberating and exciting to do.

These drips and long streaky staining marks always become an integral part of the finished painting. It's very thrilling for audiences to watch this happen and see a painting or drawing unfold through ever increasing layers of paint exploring textures and marks under each to build a work of art of demonstrating great textures, energy and expression.

Choosing Winsor & Newton 'Lana' 300gsm (140lb) 'mat' watercolour paper to work on, the smooth surface allowed the Nitram charcoal to glide across the surface. Nitram charcoal is a great choice due to the high quality of the charcoal and comes in different sizes and 'hard' and 'soft' grades H, HB and B as well as Bâtons Moyens*  Académie Fusains** and because I was able to vary the textures of the very unique charcoal on this lovely watercolour paper, the texture and finish I was able to create was really great.

I often select Winsor & Newton 'Lana' cold pressed watercolour paper to draw upon in sheet form due to the quality of the surface texture and the embossed branding logos in the paper shown in the bottom right hand corner on this paper. These branded marks in my papers are very important to me as they display a selection of quality by me, the artist.  

I often 'float' my drawings in the frame) showing all the deckled edges and every bit of the paper which offers something different but celebrates every inch of the paper, especially when working full sheet.

No need to do anything else to this drawing. I’m delighted to’s finished so thank you Thorner Art Group! It was a real pleasure demonstrating for you and I hope to be back again ASAP!

Nitram Arts Inc.
11 - 1080 Brock Road
Pickering, Ontario, Canada
L1W 3H3

Bâtons Moyens*
The advantage of Nitram charcoal is its ability to not crumble or skip when used expressively when drawing.

Again they are colour coded for ease of working and for a cleaner approach to charcoal drawing with paper wrappers around the end of each individual stick (in this case they are yellow).

For artists who like to work on a large scale, Nitram have also produced 3 other very handy sized Bâtons Moyens as 25 and 50mm sticks measuring 152mm in length each and another Bâtons Moyens rectangular bloc as 15 mm in length, width 46 mm and again in height as 152 mm

Académie Fusains**
For the discerning artist that requires a rich black for drawing, then all the Nitram Académie Fusains are the answer. They are made square with easily identifiable colour codes applied to each stick as they appear in the box.

The ‘B’ Nitram Académie Fusains in particular is very soft, ‘HB’ is a medium soft charcoal, holds very well to all surfaces of paper and is perfect for creating beautiful velvety tones also. ‘H’ is the ‘hardest’ of the Nitram charcoals and this charcoal can be sharpened to an extra fine point (using the Nitram sharpening bloc to create the best effect) for creating fine detail in your drawing. 

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