Tag Archives: reductive drawing

The Dark Manner

9 Mar

drawing 7

I’ve been working on some ‘manier noir’ drawings. The name means ‘in the dark manner’ and usually refers to the printmaking technique of mezzotint. I stretched the paper onto a wall originally, gave it 2 coats of gesso and when dry, I rubbed it all over with graphite block, then a rag dipped in turpentine to get a smooth slightly metallic finish. The drawing is done with wire wool and aluminium oxide paper, or fine sandpaper, removing the highlights and  paler tones. It’s a type of reductive drawing. One of the photos in the slideshow below shows how big the paper is, but I’m planning on getting three smaller drawings from it.

 

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Drawing Darkly

25 Feb

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I spent some time in my studio today, starting a ‘manier noir’ style drawing. It’s a type of reductive drawing, working from black to white, rubbing away areas of charcoal to reveal the highlights. It’s the very first of a substantial body of drawings and original prints I have planned.

I prepared Fabriano Accademica paper with gesso and when it dried, I rubbed it evenly all over with compressed charcoal, using my hand to get a smooth black surface. I ‘draw’ into the charcoal with steel wool and very fine sandpaper. This technique results in a subtle but dramatic chiaroscuro.

Manier noir is an alternative name for the printmaking technique mezzotint, where an engraved metal plate has the highlights smoothed away with a steel burnisher.

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