For a drawing
to be successful, you've got to start off choosing the right drawing surface.
No matter how great the drawing ideas you have or the drawing art skills you
bring to bear in the process, if you aren't pairing surface and implement well,
you may run into trouble as you develop the piece.
|Untitled by Linday Carron, ballpoint pen drawing.
When you are
deciding what drawing art surface to use, first ask yourself three questions: What
will you be drawing with? What do you want your marks to look like? And how
archival or lasting you want your marks to be?
The first two
choices are related in any and all drawing exercises you perform. Because,
let's say, if you are using a paper that doesn't have a smooth or sized
surface, a wet medium like ink will bleed or have soft lines. This might suit
you or not--the point is to anticipate what you'll encounter so you can decide
what kind of line drawing you want.
question, about how long you want the drawing to hold up over time, is a thorny
one. In reality, we all know we can draw on pretty much anything, but if you
want a drawing to retain its appearance over time you can make further
inquiries about the papers you use. There are those that are pH-neutral and
many are lignin-free so that they don't yellow.
||Maple Grove & Rocks by Thomas Kegler,
12 x 9, drawing with
silver point & gouache heightening.
Adapted from an article by Bob Bahr.
If you are
creating line drawings in pen-and-ink, look for a surface that is smooth and
pressed for precision lines and little bleeding. Hot-pressed watercolor paper
is a good choice, as is Bristol board. Using charcoal to draw means you probably
want to seek out a surface that has a bit more texture and pliancy like
cold-pressed paper or rough paper.
are incredibly versatile and can let you do all the above and more on one
surface, but the point I want to leave you with is to experiment and see what
surface you respond to. I've learned the most insightful drawing tips on what
surface to use from the artists interviewed in Drawing magazine. These top draftsmen share their approaches to
drawing step by step, just as if we are in the studio with them. I've gleaned a
lot of helpful info this way, and I hope the same goes for you when and if you
decide to invest in a subscription to Drawing