Does anyone draw/paint with graphite powder and blenders? Tips ?

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  1. #1

    Does anyone draw/paint with graphite powder and blenders? Tips ?

    Yeah just invested in some graphite powder today and was wondering if anyone had tips

    *getting hard edges with a blender.. or any object really.
    *what are some techniques or tools that let you best control the graphite powder?? (And what about drawing with kneaded erasers instead of blenders?)



    Any other amusing techniques ? Lemme know.

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  3. #2
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    For harder eges, I'd recommend a kneaded eraser. You can form it to the shape and pull the values out. This gives you a nice edge.

    as for graphite powder, I've never used it so I can't say much about it. Seeing as its free flowing powder, I'm not sure there is much you can do to control it (or at least the application of it).

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  4. #3
    To get chrisper edges you can mask off an area with a sheet of paper or thin plastic, which is also good for straight lines. A cotton swab works fine for blending, or a balled up piece of muslin which you can wash and reuse. If you go back over it lightly you can soften the edge.

    David B. Clemons
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  5. #4
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    Can it be used directly to draw/paint? I always assumed it was for toning paper prior to drawing....

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  6. #5
    Use it however you wish. I sometimes take a balled up rag dipped into powder to get a large fat stroke; although, I typically use charcoal powder. Graphite powder is only as far away as my mechanical pencil sharpener. Charcoal powder is also easy to come by.

    Speaking of painting, you can mix it with turpentine and apply it with a brush to get a paint-like effect without having to change mediums. This is a way to also make a good carbon paper, but I wouldn't buy graphite for that.

    David B. Clemons
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  7. #6
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    DBclemons Is exactly right. Richard Schmid and Scott Burdick use it with turp and brushes and get some amzing results. Go to Burdicks website and you will see examples there, not sure if Scmid has any up right now but his older book on figure painting from 1973 describes the process step by step

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  8. #7
    One other thing comes to mind: you may notice that by just rubbing it on that the value won't get very dark. You can burnish it with something like the wood handle of a brush or anything hard but not damaging to the paper, and that will make it slightly darker. Of course, you can also draw on it with a pencil, as well as use a fixtive to make layers.

    If you use turpentine it's harder to get a clean erasure. Alcohol also works but is a bit more hazardous and has no adhesive properties.

    David B. Clemons
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  9. #8
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    For charcoal work you can use a chamois to lay down nice braod passages - should work for graphite as well.

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