The medium and the message

Mushrooms blog

Mushrooms (2012 charcoal and pastel A2)

Sometimes the subject dictates the medium. Would the chillies in the image below be quite so chilliesque if they’d been drawn in pastel? Somehow the creases in a chilli cry out for the hard line of ink, here combined with watercolour to give a rich colour that still allows the line to show through.

Similarly, these mushrooms – drawn a couple of years ago in Helen Gilbart’s drawing class – started off in charcoal, rubbed back to get the milky whiteness of the skin and the stalks, but needed brown pastel to produce that particular mushroom quality. It’s a softness that pastel and charcoal achieve so well together.

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