Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Faces

Today I share with you a few more faces I am trying to get out of my mind. As I was playing with these I thought about how a second line at the mouth can completely change the expression of a face. I had not even thought of that before.

There is another reason for showing you this particular doodle. I use a pump-action fixative rather than that from the pressurized can. When I use it on charcoal, however it causes it to smudge. Do you think it is my application of the fixative (too aggressive in application) or do you think it is the product itself? If you enlarge this image you can see what I mean. Have you had issues like this with fixative? I am using Fixatif Latour by Sennelier. I will not change the fixative, because it settles fast and I do not have as great a chance of inhaling the product.

If you followed the comments to yesterday's post you are aware I am eagerly expecting my daughter's arrival this weekend. Both of my children are in their last week of the semester, and we will be four again next week. I am really excited, but it also means I am not in the studio as much. You just might be seeing some of these quick sketches from me and I might get them out of my head, too. I suppose one never really knows, right? Are you beginning to get into the holiday swing, now?

Have a Great Day!

14 comments:

Jess said...

Hi Kim, You must be very excited! It's great that you'll still find time to show us these drawings. For fixing pastels or charcoal I've always used cheap unperfumed hairspray! I've found it works just as well, doesn't stink the house out and it very economical!:)

paulanm said...

Hi Kim ~

I've only used the pressurized can and when I apply the final beeswax coat it will still smudge if I'm not careful and work it too much.......but then most of the time I like the smudged look. I'm anxious to discover how you resolve this issue.....every little tip helps !!!!

Have fun with your children. There is truly nothing like the love we have for our family.

Happy Holidays!

Kim said...

Hi Jess, I don't know how often I will be able to do that, but I can tell you I will be doing it some. I am so excited to be sure. We do not get to see Elizabeth all of that often, but when we do we enjoy the time together.

Of course, hairspray! We used that a lot in school and it works great. Have you ever had any issues with it yellowing? Argh, I really hate the odor!

Thanks Jess! You have a wonderful day.

Kim said...

Hello Paula!

The most difficult thing with me is the inhalation issue with some of those canned products. In reality, I can't think of any we use here...oh, yes, my husband will take a finishing spray outside a spray up a lot of my paintings from time to time. I just can't tolerate a lot of these products because of my asthma...and with these there is also my son's asthma to consider.

I bet maybe we can get some good tips here. Also, you are right, sometimes it is just the right thing to get the smudge...maybe not what you thought it should be, but right never-the-less. :)

Thanks Paula, have a Good Day!

~Babs said...

So exciting, the chicks coming home to roost!

About the fixative: one experience of mine was seeing a wonderfully painted portrait completely ruined (not mine) in class,by a girl who didn't wait for instructions.Made me sick,,it was so beautiful. I've used spray fixatives, and hairspray both.The art of it is of course in the application,,,,the spraying ABOVE the piece, letting the spray gently fall onto the work from above,,,not spraying directly at the paper. Many times I choose not to fix at all,,but rather to double mat then frame under glass.
I have a few pieces I did a long time ago,,,charcoal and pastel,,,that are treated this way, and they still look good.
My two cents worth,
:-D

sukipoet said...

Hey Kim. How exciting that your daughter is almost home. You will have a lovely time with your family all together once again.

I have only used the ordinary spray fixative. I spray outside and in the manner babs describes. But truthfully I rarely use fixative. I can understand that with asthma you wouldnt want a spray.

As with Paula, I dont mind a bit of smudge either with the charcoal. I kinda like the messy aspect of that medium.

Love the swirl of the eyebrow into the nose.

Cestandrea said...

Hi Kim:) this is so interesting, your thoughts about the second line of the mouth, I hadn't thought of that neither. And I like your face sketches, and am looking forward to more quick sketches, they are so interesting to look at.
The smudgefixing..I seldom work with charcoal precisely because I don't like fixative. So, unfortunately, I don't like to work with any medium which needs fixing. I do work with oil pastels cause you just leave them and don't fix them, which needs clean storage.
But if I would use them, then I'd persuade myself that the smudging is nice, and part of the artwork, which it is:)
Your next weeks sounds busy with family and nice to look forward to! I have an appointment Saturday with two dear friends with whom I only met once or twice a year, and then we go to an exhibition and afterwards have lunch together, so that is something nice too. And I will be preparing Christmas presents, or so I hope, LOL

love and hugs
Andrea

Kim said...

Hi Babs,

Well, you know I am excited about us all being together. :)

I can sure understand how your experience of seeing the ruin of some excellent art with fixative has made a difference in how you approach working with it. I have used a lot of fixatives early on...and hairspray, too...and this was unusual. I also use this with soft pastels and it worked great. I thought there was probably just something I didn't understand about the charcoal. Now I am just thinking the tooth of the paper maybe wasn't strong enough to hold the charcoal as I applied the fixative. This was just in my sketchbook, so I don't really care.

I am beginning to understand fixing may not be something I am going to choose to do very often. You know?

I am really appreciating your insights here on this...I am beginning to realize there is probably a better way or just leaving it is going to be the best choice.

I love posting here because I get all this wonderful insight.

Thank You, Babs!

Kim said...

Thank you, Suki. You are so sweet.

You know my husband always uses sprays outdoors because of my son and me, so I am sure this would be the way to go. At the moment, I am feeling much like you and Paula...just live with the smudge or don't fix at all. As I said this is in a sketchbook and who really cares? You know?

You know that swirl is interesting. Babs noticed it before and said she did something similar. I have no idea where it came from, but the movement feels right to me. You know how I am with that.

You stay warm and make a little extra cup of cocoa for yourself today. You are a precious participant here...I hope you know that.

Here is a hug.

Kim said...

Hi Andrea,

I found that amazing. I was just piddling around one evening and had these single line mouths, then I added a line to one and it was as though the whole face changed. Now maybe it was just these little basic sketches, but it truly shocked me at the time. I am also glad you find them interesting, because I have a feeling you are going to see quite a number of these over the next few weeks.

I can say I am quickly arriving at the same decision as you about the fixative. I also suppose the dust is not a good thing to have flying around either. I usually wear a mask when working with soft pastels, but for some reason haven't (but should) with charcoal. I think I am going to stick with the more moist mediums, too...for these very reasons. Of course the smudging can be very appealing. I know that is the part of soft pastels I have found appealing.

It sounds as though you have a lovely weekend planned with your friends. Lunch and a museum sound like a great way to enjoy their company. Are you going to a special exhibit? Of course the preparation of Christmas presents will be a lot of fun, too. It is fun to think about something a person you love would like. Speaking of, I have some here I need to get in the post! Argh! Well, I need to add that to my list for the week!

Thanks Andrea!

Dianne said...

Dear Kim, isn't it amazing that a single line can be so expressive! I agree, the smudging is part of the charm of a drawing, its a loss of control on the part of the artist where the materials take over! I love this concept! I had to learn this in watercolour, put it down and wait and see what happens without trying to intervene and mess it up.
I think you should stay away from sprays, anything with little particles of liquid in the air will go into your lungs and give you problems. I have also framed soft pastel works without fixing them, I found the fixitive always killed the highlighted passages.
The oil bars are such fun, they dry quite hard over night and don't need any fixing!
Have a great time with your daughter, Elizabeth! You are so lucky to have your children with you now, my boy will still be in Afghanistan and my daughter in the UK. What is it about this time of year when you want to gather all your chicks around you?
Take care!

Kim said...

Hi Dianne,

I am so sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I rely on my email to let me know I have comments and this particular one hung up in my spam filter...now isn't that funny?

You are right about allowing the medium to have it say, as well. I need to remember that and how important it is when I am working. I am not the only one at work here.
Watercolor, for me, allows you no control. I know that is not the truth, but it really challenges you on this point. I keep having the watercolor come up again and again for me. I wonder if it is something I am suppose to explore again? Mmmm...

I am heeding your warning...intuitively, I know this...now I have a nurse reinforcing this. Only water in spray form for me. It is just too risky...it is not worth it.

Yes, the oil bars are wonderful. I loved working with them...I should pull those back out again. In England I worked with those a lot. I also really like the finish which comes from burnishing them with your fingers. Thanks for the reminder.

Dianne, you are right it is a time when you want to gather your children around you. I know you will miss the holidays with your children and YOUR grandchild...and pray for the safe return of your son very soon.

Thanks Dianne!

Love,

Kim

marianne said...

Goodmorning again,
The faces remind me of Buddha.....

Kim said...

Ah, now that is a good one I had not thought about. Mmmm, I am wondering what my muse is trying to share with me?

Thanks Marianne!