part three: expanse project two: landscape

exercise one: cloud formations


black and white charcoal on black paper. A4

I usually draw in the evenings but this morning sky was so dramatic I took a photo to work from later – tougher than I thought it would be…

Things I discovered:

  • I started by laying down quite a lot of white in order to ‘lift’ it out with putty to reveal the black. This only worked to an extent.
  • What worked better was to go back in with black charcoal. I wonder if this is about the materiality of the charcoal – the cloud is the substance, so it has to exist as a layer – revealed paper just doesn’t do it. The light, or the white charcoal is the space.
  • All the edges of the cloud were soft. There was not a harsh black to white. It was fiddly trying to blur all the edges. I could do with thinner fingers!
  • There’s a point – and I’ve noticed this before with charcoal – that it just starts sliding around the page. I had this problem with the white. Fixing it and then carrying on working helped a bit.
  • I couldn’t get the really brilliant opaque white that I wanted in a couple of patches.

Overall I’m pleased. There is a sense of the morning sun lifting up behind the buildings and the clouds moving up and overhead.


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