Black and White charcoal questions!
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    Black and White charcoal questions!

    Hey everyone, I've got a pair of self portraits that I need to do for a class, using toned paper. I'd like to use black and white charcoal for this, but I'm not quite sure how to approach the drawing: Use the tone of the paper for the mid-tones (it's a kind of cool gray BFK Rives paper) or mix the black and white charcoal together to form my mids. Having done a couple of quick value studies on this paper, the paper tone is a bit jarring, honestly. It's got an almost greenish tint to it that doesn't seem to fit into a smooth transition from white to black. Also, this particular paper is quite unforgiving when it comes to erasing and blending. If I get a little overly aggressive with a stump (and I mean a LITTLE), the paper starts to delaminate and fuzz.
    I did search the forums, but wasn't able to come up with any answers regarding using B+W charcoal. So-- mix grays or paper tone? Should I just ace the paper and get some new stuff that has a bit of sizing to it? Any advice will be super helpful (my teacher really didn't have much to say on the matter other than "oh, the paper does that when you blend? Hmm. Be careful, then." )
    Thanks!
    mike


    Last edited by Too Many Captains...; November 30th, 2009 at 09:39 AM. Reason: missed a parenthesis :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Many Captains... View Post
    Hey everyone, I've got a pair of self portraits that I need to do for a class, using toned paper. I'd like to use black and white charcoal for this, but I'm not quite sure how to approach the drawing: Use the tone of the paper for the mid-tones (it's a kind of cool gray BFK Rives paper) or mix the black and white charcoal together to form my mids.
    Either one, but not both in the same piece.


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    Thanks, Elwell! To keep the paper surface as nice as possible with my mids, I was thinking about making powdered charcoal and applying it with a brush, then tidying up my edges as delicately as possible with erasers and stumps-- does that seem like a reasonable workaround to the paper issue? It's got a great surface and I like the weight of the paper, but the delicacy issue is a bit of a problem.
    Thanks again!
    mike

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