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  • Writer's pictureKaren Ruffles

Clowning around

I've just finished a biannual art exhibition here in Whitby, Art D'Morte and one of the pieces I decided to take was my most recent - finished only last week. It contained a really interesting selection of textures so I decided to grab some time lapse video of my techniques so you can see how I use different pencils and blenders, even a blade, to recreate different surfaces.

The image is of a clown marionette that I bought, dirtied down and photographed in my home made dark box to control the light. I was especially pleased with the expression in the shot I decided to draw, it has a wickedness to it, a slyness that added to the whole thing. He's actually part of the ongoing Stephen project (if you don't know about all that yet visit Stephen's Corner).

You may have noticed in the video that a lot of the detailed areas appear lighter than the background - this is because the harder charcoal pencils that give me a finer point to work with are more reflective because they contain more binder. The linear detail is worked first, then I shade and soften where necessary and finally, go around those areas adding a top layer of charcoal using a paper stub to blend them in further, so the appearance of the completed drawing is more like the scan below. He only came back from the show venue today so I haven't got a proper photograph of him yet, watch my shop and Facebook page for a final version - the scan has a more grainy quality than the original.

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