Surfaces for Drawing: Paper & Canvas

I started the day by making a quick trip into town to pick up paper and some more lithography materials. At this art store, the paper is located right next to the canvas, and it got me thinking whether canvas might be an option for these drawings instead of paper. I knew for a fact that I need to do these drawings on a highly textured surface, and the coarseness of canvas seemed like it might be appropriate. When I got back from the store, I did a quick sketch on a scrap piece of canvas as a test. While I did enjoy the toughness and texture of the canvas, I didn’t like the beige color of the canvas and the texture was coarse enough that many of the more subtle details were lost in the process. Also, there was something about the heaviness of the canvas which seemed to take away from the delicacy of the drawing. I also have an ongoing love affair with paper that never seems to diminish. There’s something about the surface of paper which seems so sublime and luminous, any fabric seems like it has to be inferior by comparison.

I think it’s important to always consider as many options as possible, especially when you’re at the beginning of a project. However, this tangent I had with canvas actually ended up being a huge distraction to my being able to focus on drawing today. As a reaction to this, I’m no longer allowing myself to think about changing materials for these drawings.

I spent another part of the day doing some work in Photoshop to simulate a very large crayon composition with multiple figures. In the past I haven’t used Photoshop in my drawing process, but this time I felt it was appropriate as a test so that I could quickly see whether my idea for large scale compositions was going to work. I took digital images of a few crayon sketches and resized them into a single composition to simulate what a large crayon composition would be like. Obviously, this creates a very awkward image as all of the figures were drawn in isolation and the space and scale relationships don’t make any sense. However, it does give me a small peek at what a large composition drawn with this approach might look like. Part of me feels slightly guilty that I didn’t simply draw a multiple figure composition, but I knew that option would have been highly time consuming and may not have even been as effective in visualizing the end results.

Photoshop Composition Test I

A composition created in Photoshop from individual crayon drawings. Each drawing was resized to simulate a large scale crayon drawing. I also extended some of the reflections for a few of the figures by cutting and pasting in more shadows from other drawings.

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