Thursday, December 06, 2007

Art Materials - Part 1

I have found that people are curious about the supports I use for my work, in particular Drafting Film and Pastelbord. So I have decided to include a page on my website giving more information on the materials I use, but I thought I'd also do a blog post.
Although I have tried out many supports over the past few years I return to the same favourites:-
Arches Hot Press Watercolour paper or Mellotex for graphite
Polydraw Drafting Film for coloured pencil, or mixed media including acrylic
Ampersand Pastelbord for coloured pencil including Neocolor ll

Drafting Film, I use Polydraw double matt, 75 micron sheets. Polydraw is by West and is available as sheets or in rolls. It is described as a polyester drafting film with a high degree of dimensional stability.
I find its exceptionally smooth surface ideal for the detail I want to be able to produce. A sharp pencil point lasts for a long time on this surface. I can also easily airbrush acrylic backgrounds to produce a wonderful soft focus effect.
The one thing that you can't do on this surface is use a lot of layering, I've found 3 or 4 layers is about as many as I can manage.
If you make a mistake on Polydraw it is easy to correct, simply dampen the area and wipe off. I have even removed an airbrushed background, although that wasn't quite as easy.
I believe that an equivalent to Polydraw in the US and Canada is Mylar, and I know many artists use Mylar to great effect.
Here are a couple of examples of my work on drafting film. I have airbrushed all the background in the Rough Collie painting, in real life you can see how this pushes the subject forward.
In the Norwegian Forest Cat painting I have done the background entirely in coloured pencil, again a subtle effect but much more time consuming.

To be continued.....................

3 comments:

Karen said...

This is very useful Gayle, thank you. One question I would like to ask is whether you have to use fixative on drafting film?

Katherine said...

Nice post Gayle - I'm including it in the 'who's made a mark this week' post next Sunday

I'm not surprised that you've decided to do these posts after having heard all those people people ask you about what you do your artwork on at the NEC.

Gayle Mason said...

I never use fixative Karen so I'm not sure how it would work on drafting film.

Thanks Katherine