Razor Drawings

 

 

2016-01-12-0032

Joyce Kelley and Val Thelin sketching with a razor blade – October 1975

 

 

 

2016-01-12-0018

Val Thelin Workshop – Sketching with a razor blade at Fairy Lake – June 1977

 

 

– SKETCHING WITH THE RAZOR BLADE –

 

When sketching on location, I will typically use a razor blade dipped into India Ink.  This method of sketching gives the artist a much better “immediate sense” of shapes, patterns, and forms.  In addition, it is a very direct “two value” system, making it easy to establish flow patterns within the composition right at the outset.  I will also add that the razor blade is essentially identical in shape to the single stroke brushes so commonly used in watercolor painting.  This can prove to be an asset when you move from the techniques used in your field sketching, to working on a finished painting in the studio using those large single stroke brushes, as there is a very direct causal relationship that occurs here. 

Just place about a half teaspoon of ink into a shallow plastic or metal lid from an ordinary jar.  I usually sketch on an illustration board, and a favorite board that I prefer for this type of sketching is the number 300 Crescent cold press.  The board is usually cut into pieces of either 10 x 15, or 15 x 20 inches in size.  I tape all four edges with one inch wide blue masking tape.  When the sketch is finished and the tape is removed, the drawing will look matted just as it is.  I will also use black acrylic tube paint, and apply it with the edge of a credit card, working in a manner somewhat similar to the razor blade and ink.  The black acrylic has more body and covering power–at times a good thing.

The sketches can be left as either stark “two value” black and white artwork, or they can be further modified to incorporate a third value–or even color tinting.  To create a third value, I just wet a piece of paper towel, and run it across certain areas of the drawing, picking up some of the ink, which creates a gray value.  This is good for softening edges, or making cloud forms, etc.  Tinting the drawing with watercolor can provide a nice touch, such as what you see in the ink sketch of “DEVIL’S TOWER”.  The color tinting can provide you with very useful color notations when using the sketch as a reference when creating finished paintings at a later time in the studio.  The sketch can also be sold as a finished work of art just as it is–either in basic razor blade black and white, or with relevant color tinting within certain passages.

 

 

**********

 

 

025

CHURCH AT LAURIN

12 x 17 Inches – 1995

 

 

 

040

DEVIL’S TOWER

11.75 x 16.75 Inches – 1994

 

 

 

2016-01-12-0044

RUSSIAN WINDMILL

10 x 14 Inches – 1989

 

 

 

064

BLACK MOUNTAIN RIDGE

10 x 14 Inches – 1995

 

 

 

028 

RINGLING PRAYER HOUSE

10.25 x 15.5 Inches – 1992

 

 

 

2016-01-13-0013

TETON CREST

9 x 12.5 Inches – 1994

 

 

 

012 

NOVGOROD CHURCH

8 x 12 Inches – 1992

 

 

 

487

LONE MOUNTAIN

13 x 20 Inches – 2007

 

 

 

006 

UPPER ULERYS LAKE

8 x 13 Inches – 1989

 

 

 

2016-01-12-0042

RINGLING CHURCH

11 x 16 Inches – 1989

 

 

 

009 

HILGARD PEAK

8 x 13 Inches – year unknown

 

 

 

003 

LONE MOUNTAIN FROM UPPER ULERY LAKE

8 x 13 Inches – 1989

 

 

**********

 

 

– A FEW PENCIL DRAWINGS –

 

 

 

2016-01-12-0034

 JOYCE

8 x 13 Inches – 1983

 

 

 

2016-01-13-0029 

BASKET OF PEARS

8 x 12 Inches – 1983

 

 

 

2016-01-13-0031

PUMPKIN

8 x 12 Inches – 1983

 

 

 

2016-01-13-0030

HENRY’S APPLES

8 x 12 Inches – 1983

 

 

**********

 

 

 

val - sketch at fairy lake

Sketch by Val Thelin while at Fairy Lake – June 1977

 

During June 1977, I took a workshop with Val Thelin.  There were a number of us in the class.  One afternoon, the class went up to Fairy Lake.  Looking around, I was bewildered as to just what I might select for a suitable subject.  Val noticed this, and came over and said to me, “Nature is too vast for any of us to take it all in.  You’ve got to take just a small part of it”.  “Like what?” I asked.  Val looked around and spotted a small stump near the shoreline.  He began a quick sketch of the stump, using a 6B pencil on a pad.  No sooner had he started, when a guy came along and leaned his fishing pole against the stump.  Then, the guy produced a rubber raft from his bag–and began filling it with air.  Incredible!  A completely suitable subject for a painting began to unfold right before our eyes.  It happened naturally, but it was so unusual it was as if it were all prearranged…   

 

 

Content Copyright  (c)    2016 – 2017    JerrySchmidtArtist.com    All Rights Reserved