Friday, November 12, 2010

Sketching to paint

Monday I took a sick day and yesterday a holiday and tomorrow a weekend.  What a crazy week.

But yesterday was great,  I started out with the sketch in my moleskin that I have never done anything in except try to cover up the white.  White stops me cold in journals.  Anyway, I did a practice sketch from the model that is blocked out right above the sketch.
 Then I sketched again on the canvas.  Some of you have asked about fixing the charcoal.  Well, the truth is I don't have any spray fixative on hand.  Years and years ago when I oil painted, I remember that sometimes we would fix our sketch with Aqua Net.  Our store didn't have Aqua Net so I got Suave and tried that on the charcoal sketch that I painted last weekend.  It was not totally successful but I managed.  I just wanted to sketch to hold long enough for me to lay in a wash of lights and darks. 

On the above sketch, I used a clear acrylic spray that I have and that was OK too but not really as good as a fixative would have been.  Fixative is on my shopping list because I am really enjoying charcoal sketching.  I do it in the chair zone.
 "Shadow Dancing"
8 x 24 canvas
I would like a holiday day off every week but y'all can have that sick day because that was a zinger!
Have a great weekend.


  1. I like your charcoal sketching too. Sometimes I use hair spray to fix the pencil line.I do have the fixative too.And can´t work without that.
    Do you know the painter Michael Shapcott. I love his work and you can see him at He let the pencil shine through the painting and I like that. I learn so much to look at his home page.
    I like to watch your blog :-)
    Best regards from Kirsten

  2. I use hairspray too Sharon just like Kirsten, but why not let the charcoal bleed into the painting. She looks stunning!
    Italy has done something for you I can see a change in your artwork. I love where you are going!!

  3. What a lovely face! Great work.

    for a charcoal fixative I highly recommend SpectraFix! Non-toxic, non-aerosol and made from the same stuff that Degas used in his paintings.

  4. I really like how you've captured the delicacy of her neck, the roundness of her face and that great contrast behind her left neck. Lovely, Sharon!

    I don't bother fixing my charcoal any more before I paint. I just brush it off gently but firmly with a large,soft brush. That leaves enough mark for me to paint by.

  5. I am so interested in this piece. Did you paste the text and draw over it or draw directly on the canvas and then add text, sketching again?

  6. Awesome portrait! As always!

  7. Great piece of work again;o)

  8. Awesome! I am taking drawing classes at the community collage and just started using charcoal this fall. Love it, and I use a workable fixative by Krylon.

  9. Lovely, lovely, lovely! What wonderful inspiration you've brought back from Italy!

  10. what a beautiful painting. i love how transparent her face is...and dreamy!

  11. I noticed in the Minneapolis Institute of Art pencil, or charcoal are always listed on the little note below the painting along with oil or watercolor so it must be Ok for it to show. I use a very soft pencil and it sort of gets smeared into the painting.
    I am not a careful painter tho.

    Yes you are still in Italy and what could be better than the influence, I have some old books of Russion art that I also admire the work, it is just wonderful.
    The painting is beautiful and I like the mouth, someday I need to do a whole page of mouths just to get some different ones. The first video I watched of you painting I could hardly wait till you did the mouth.

    I also had that one day sickness, that was last week I think. Terrible feeling.

    So our first snowstorm is on the way coming out of Nebraska and Kansas.

    I hope your weekend is filled with art and creating.

  12. Oh Norah, I just love this one called Shadow dancer she is beautiful. Just want to give you a tip. Years ago when I was doing an art class my art teacher told me that Hairspray works as a nice fixative if you don't have one. But I don't keep hairspray so that is also a problem :o)

  13. Gorgeous! Love the charcoal sketching too. Geez, I haven't used Aqua Net in years.

  14. She is lovely, she is so peaceful. You know that I love all that you do, and she is a stand out!! Hugs, Mary

  15. the unlimited uses for aquanet :-)


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