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Finishing Bromide Enlargements








Examine the enlargement mounted on the strainer, looking at it from the
side, to learn if there is any starch on the surface of the paper
before commencing work on it. If there is any, carefully wash it off
with a sponge and some clean water, and then set the enlargement aside
until it has thoroughly dried. Then lay it down on the table with a
piece of manilla paper under the strainer about 12 inches longer on
each edge than the latter; take a handful of cotton, first rubbing it
thoroughly in the crayon sauce, then on the manilla paper, and finally
going over the surface of the enlargement with it in a circular motion.
Then sprinkle pumice stone over the portrait, and using the ends of the
fingers flat, rub it over the entire surface of the paper. This
treatment cuts through the gelatin surface and prepares it for the
stipple effect. Now stand the strainer on its edge and jar the pumice
stone off, after which lay it down on the table, and with a piece of
clean cotton lightly brush off the surface; then, having rubbed the
finger ends in the crayon sauce, go over the entire surface of the
enlargement, holding them flat, and you will produce a fine stipple
effect.

If the shadows need to be darker, use a little more crayon on the
fingers; also put the cast shadow in the background, applying the
crayon with the fingers.

Before proceeding further it will be well to note that the crayon is
entirely on the gelatin surface, and that the photographic image is on
this surface also, and not on the paper itself; therefore, under the
image and the gelatin you have the pure white paper. I call attention
to this in order that you may work with a better comprehension of the
materials you are using.

You now have four surfaces. First, the muslin cloth of the strainer;
second, the starch; third, the white paper; fourth, the gelatin.

Knowing that the gelatin has a hard surface, you are prepared to learn
that the crayon will come off from the bromide much more easily than
from the other kinds of paper. These had but three surfaces, while the
bromide has a fourth--a very hard one--between the crayon and the
paper, and on account of its hardness it will need different treatment
in its manipulation. Therefore you use the fingers in applying the
crayon sauce, and, when it is necessary to make a place light, you do
so with the cotton, chamois or eraser. Should you find it necessary to
make a place white where it is dark, you can remove the photograph
entirely, as this is on the gelatin, scraping it off down to the white
paper with a sharp knife.

Resuming the process of finishing, place the enlargement on the easel
and put in the cloud effect with the large eraser, then lay it on the
table again, and clean it off about four inches from the edge all
around with pumice stone and a fresh piece of cotton where you have
rubbed with the eraser, and blend the background into this four inch
space. Return the enlargement to the easel again, and with the broad
eraser clean up the lights throughout, and with the cotton and pumice
stone blend them into the shadows; then with the peerless stump, crayon
sauce and fingers strengthen the larger shadows, using the nigrivorine
eraser when necessary to clean up the lights, and the tortillon stump
for the work in the smaller shadows, if it is required to make them
darker. Now with the No. 0 crayon finish the face by completing the
stipple effect in the patches of light and shade. You will have a good
guide in the background for finishing and giving the stipple effect, as
there you will have this stipple effect quite perfect, especially in
the light places. This finishing with the No. 0 crayon is the nicest
part of the work, and when doing it you must keep in mind that you are
putting in the stipple effect, and that alone; that is, the portrait at
this stage is supposed to be very nearly right in light and shade and
expression, and it should not be necessary to strengthen it in the
shadows by using the No. 0 crayon. You are to cut up or divide the
portrait into small black and white spots, but do not take out white
spots with the No. 0 crayon that are larger than the white spots
desired in the stipple effect; these light places must be cut into
smaller light spots. If you should take out these white spots (and this
is an error you must be very careful to avoid), you would produce an
effect of large dark and white spots that would be entirely wrong, the
real process being to divide large white and dark spots into smaller
ones of the same color.

This stipple effect should be worked all over the face with the
exception of the highest lights, and even these will very often need to
be worked over except at the single points of the very highest lights.
In this work you now have an opportunity to demonstrate the theory of
contrast. Sometimes the enlargement is too dark in the shadows, and
although you require to have them lighter you have already removed all
the crayon from the surface, and it still remains too dark. The crayon
pencil is many shades darker and blacker than the shadows, yet you can
by its use make them lighter by putting in the stipple effect, as the
dark touches of the pencil in their contrast with the shadow color
under them cause them to appear lighter. This is a very essential
principle to remember in crayon portrait work: that the effect of dark
against light is to make the light appear lighter, and the dark darker.
After the face and hair are completed as above, then finish the
clothes with the peerless stump, eraser and fingers. If there are any
very dark strong shadows--for instance, under the collar or around the
neck--put them in with the velours crayon and subdue them with the
fingers. When at work on the clothes at the bottom of the portrait do
not finish straight across, but in a circular way. Next taking up the
background you will discover that there are some large patches of light
and shade that must be changed and made the required color to
correspond with the adjoining surface; lean back as far as possible in
your chair, and join these places together with the pencil and eraser;
then in the same position finish the face by removing any light or dark
places, strengthening the eyes, nose, mouth, and any point of the
likeness requiring a final touch. Remove with the point of your knife
any small black spots such as sometimes show in the photograph, and
then with a fresh piece of cotton and pumice stone clean off the edges
of the crayon all around.

Before regarding the picture as quite complete, examine it by holding
it at right angles to the light, to see if there are not some marks of
the crayon pencil that show too prominently. These can be subdued with
the ends of the fingers. Sometimes in finishing with the No. 0 crayon
the paper will seem to be gritty so that you can hardly work on it.
The difficulty is that some of the pumice stone has adhered to the
surface of the paper. This can be disposed of by rubbing it with the
fingers. It should be remembered that the pumice stone must be entirely
removed from the whole surface of the paper, as otherwise it will
settle in the crayon, and give a dirty gray effect. When, as sometimes
happens in commencing the portrait, dark or white spots or streaks show
themselves, do not pay any attention to them until you have entirely
finished the crayon, then if they are dark, make them the proper shade
with the eraser, and if light, with the crayon.





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Previous: Bromide Crayons



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