Wulf's Webden

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More than the numbers

Last week I didn’t get to do a huge amount of creative work on my regular Friday off because I popped into work for a meeting. However, I did come home via Hobbycraft, picking up some materials for the anatomy summer school class I’m doing at the end of July: a couple of A3 sketchpads and a couple of watersoluble graphite pencils.

Today I thought I’d try the pencils on the pads. I went to Croquis CafĂ© (now only sharing its free life drawing videos on Vimeo – YouTube is cracking down on nudity, which creates a problem for an artistic resource like this) – see session #200. Compare these two drawings – two minute poses with a bit of extra time to splash on some water and make finishing touches:

Croquis Cafe #200 - 2 minute pose - 150gsm
150gsm paper
Croquis Cafe #200 - 2 minute pose - 140gsm
140gsm paper

The first one is one a Seawhite pad with 150gsm paper while the second is on a Hobbycraft own-brand 140gsm paper at about quarter of the price. Is it just the extra 10gsm that makes all the difference? I think there is more to it than that. Those odd white and grey patterns on the second sketch? That’s where the small amount of water used caused the paper to cockle (warp). Meanwhile, if you look closely at the right arm of the subject in the first sketch, you can see some texture in the Seawhite paper where the dissolved graphite has settled. Here’s another page from the Hobbycraft pad:

Croquis Cafe #200 - 1 minute poses
1 minute sketches

You can see another weakness of the cheaper pad here. The speckling round the hips of the third and fourth figures isn’t pleasing granulation but the more annoying phenomenon of paper dissolving and then settling in small balls on the surface.

Only 10gsm between them but I think the Seawhite one was worth the higher price. The Hobbycraft one will still do for it’s intended purpose (throwaway sketches and as a backup in case I use up the more expensive one) but I’ll try to stay away from water-based techniques with it.

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