More Manky Woman Artist #MWA

20 Mar

To carry on with yesterday’s theme of Manky Women artists, here are the steps to making a manier noir drawing which is deliciously grubby.

20 manier 2

I started by stretching large pieces of Fabriano 240gsm paper onto a wall, soaking them lightly. When they were dry I gave them 2 coats of acrylic gesso, leaving them to dry between coats.

20 manier 3

Then I prepared two with compressed charcoal, rubbing it in with my hands until there was an even black coat.  The third was scribbled with graphite block which was then smoothed with a rag dipped in turpentine.

20 manier 4

Here they are ready for ‘drawing’ which I do using wire wool and sandpaper, scraping the black away to reveal the highlights and tones.

20 manier 5

And here’s one of the drawings on compressed charcoal. When they’re finished I spray them with commercial fixer for charcoal and pastel. The charcoal and graphite give different blacks; the graphite has a silvery sheen while the compressed charcoal gives a much denser matt black.

20 manier 1

13 Responses to “More Manky Woman Artist #MWA”

  1. kestrelart March 22, 2013 at 22:04 #


  2. veronicacay March 21, 2013 at 21:35 #

    Little gems of information – thank you Rosie – some how I will have to clear some space in the studio and try this out – actually I have studio envy just looking at your walls 🙂

    • Rosie Scribblah March 21, 2013 at 23:13 #

      haha 🙂 I stretch a lot on board as well and store it until I want it,

      • veronicacay March 23, 2013 at 21:35 #

        oh to be so organised 🙂 thanks for the link to the other artist drawings – great stuff.

  3. anna warren portfolio March 21, 2013 at 02:23 #

    Really getting your hands dirty! There is such power to a negative drawing. I am amazed that 240gsm is heavy enough to stand up to such rough treatment as steel wool. Its making me feel way too clean and tidy!

    • Rosie Scribblah March 21, 2013 at 05:26 #

      It’s very soft, fine wire wool and a very fine aluminium oxide abrasive paper, rather than sandpaper. 240gsm doesn’t take ripping into the surface though, unlike the heavier Arches in my example yesterday. The acrylic gesso provides a tough, ‘toothed’ barrier to work on top of and provides a lot of protection to the paper. Rabbit skin glue is nice to work over but doesn’t give much protection to the surface of the paper. Gosh, I’m suck a geek lol

      • anna warren portfolio March 21, 2013 at 05:46 #

        Technical knowledge is vital – it gives a framework to work within, the old thing of knowing the rules then you can break them … I always find new methods interesting and inspiring!

      • Rosie Scribblah March 21, 2013 at 06:17 #

        Unfortunately too many art colleges over here are failing to teach technique. I agree, learn the rules and then break them. You can’t know what you can do with a medium until you get your hands dirty and try.

  4. Sketchy on the Detail March 20, 2013 at 23:52 #

    Thanks so much, will put this onto my to-do list. Love the way you’ve pulled the figure right out of the darkness in your example.

    • Rosie Scribblah March 21, 2013 at 05:21 #

      It reminds me of something Michaelangelo is supposed to have said about him releasing his sculptures from the block of marble. It’s a similar thing.


  1. Snipe In The Dark Manner | scribblah - July 14, 2019

    […] drawings of the Snipe and this is done in the manier noir technique on prepared paper (please click here if you want to find out more about manier […]

  2. Otherworldly | scribblah - June 24, 2019

    […] been doing a manier noir drawing (above) the past few days (click here if you want to see the process), based on an original sketch I did a few weeks ago on a field trip […]

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