Sunday, January 13, 2008

New Technique - Charcoal on Canvas

Bats, Butterflies & the Wind - 48 x 60
I am drawing directly on the white canvas with vine charcoal, and it is a really intuitive way to work. If I make a mistake, I can just wipe it off with a little square of shop towel (I buy the blue shop towels from Home Depot). This way, even though I have done a rough sketch in my sketchbook, I can transfer the idea to my canvas without any grids or mathematical formulas. I hate doing that. And, I can alter or change anything that isn't working.

This is the first time I've drawn directly on a canvas. It's been coated with about five coats of gesso, and sanded once, but the surface is still rough, but not so rough that it eats up the charcoal.

Here you can see the whole painting, and the charcoal up close.
This is some of the reference material for this painting: Bats, Butterflies and the Wind, the fourth in my Power of the Wind series. You can see another painting in this series here.

This is a view into my studio, with this painting on my easel.


Fourborne said...

Thanks for sharing. I've been teaching myself to paint and I an always interested how artist began. I would like to add you to my blog roll, if that is okay.

Pintora Maniaca said...

Thanks for the tips, i like your blog.

Allison Elkins said...

Hello, I am trying the same process, charcoal on canvas, and I am wondering how to protect the piece. Did you figure out what works best? I was thinking about using a clear acrylic medium on top to seal it in. Of course this will smudge etc. but maybe if I apply with caution?

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Dawid Theron said...

I'm also considering working with charcoal on canvas. I'm planning to use a fixative spray and then paint a clear varnish over it OR alternatively pouring an acrylic resin over after the fixative spray. Would like to hear your thoughts on this.