Large Mongoose Charcoals

Yes. I have returned to blogging on my website. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I’m still pretty disillusioned with social media so I haven’t decided if I’ll push this to any of those sites. After getting my website back up, I realized I missed talking about my process. So this is going to be more for my kids and I and whomever wants to check in and hear me ramble about my art process. So enough about that.

Here is my charcoal pass for the Large mongoose painting I am titling Courtyard at Moonlight. This painting shows Isabella De La Rosa as seen by William Weatherford. I started with a Photoshop mock-up where I cobbled together what photo references I could, applied a grid overlay to the image, and then transferred the grid lines to my toned canvas. For any of you who have not heard the term before, toning is where you apply a light to middle value of evenly to the whole canvas.

Once the grid has been lightly erased into the toned canvas, I blocked in the forms and then started laying in my values paying close attention to the shapes and lines in each square of the grid. Focusing on line and shape in each grid square helps to view the subject matter more objectively and accurately, assisting with the maintaining of good scale and proportion. Once the values were laid in, I went in and refined in details using charcoal pencils, kneaded erasers, and a folded paper towel for blending small areas and working in the charcoal. The folded rough paper towel is one of my favorite drawing tools. It is cheap and you can fold and re-fold sharp corners in it allowing you to blend in and manipulate tighter details in your charcoal.

After finishing the charcoal, I applied spray fixative liberally (so liberally that it pooled up on the surface in places) to seal the charcoal layer. Final touches to details were applied with black and white colored pencils and I used the white colored pencil to pull out brighter light areas as the spray fixative darkens all the charcoals.