Archive for October 24th, 2012

As the name implies, an aquarellable pencil makes a water-soluble line.  After you’ve put down some lines and shading with this pencil, you can go back in with a water-laden brush and make the lines “bleed” or create some other interesting havoc.  When you work this way on gloss paper, nothing seeps in, and if you want you can just take a damp paper towel and wipe everything off.  Your page, in other words, is infinitely malleable.  When you wipe off a passage (or the whole thing), it doesn’t feel like erasing , because the removal is instant and effortless—and does not involve a sanctified ERASER, you know, that thing that screams “you made a mistake” at you.  No mistakes here.  The aquarellable is a no-fault medium.  Easy, forgiving and you don’t know where it will take you.

I gave a couple of demos last class, one for the Aquarellable Pencil (made by Schwan) and the other for ink, permanent and water-soluble (by Higgins).  A couple of students took off—fearlessly.

The drawing, above, won everyone’s admiration.  It’s about 14 x 11.  You can move in close to study its subtleties and you can step back to share its atmosphere.  The wet brush dissolved the aquarellable pencil lines with messy control.  Without this kind of oxymoron you can’t get this kind of magic.  Gaby had worked with the aquarellable before, but never with such daring and with such delicate effect.

Although I describe this medium as forgiving, I strongly advise that you make studies of your subject to get thoroughly familiar with it and to allow yourself to develop an emotional take on the subject.

These are the studies  Gaby made before she produced her loose and very moving drawing. Click for enlargements.

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.




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