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Powdered Graphite Under Watercolors

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This is a post from Belinda Del Pesco’s Art Blog Belinda Del Pesco.

a watercolor of a woman napping on a couch with a cat

Have You Tried Powdered Graphite under Watercolors?

As an experiment, I used powdered graphite to lay out shapes and a loose value study from a cell phone image my son took. Adding wet media to powdered graphite can lift and mix the particles to create mud, so I was light handed in my brushwork and water-loading.

Since I prefer to use glazing in watercolors, I thought this would be the least disruptive approach to using wet media over a dry media.

powdered graphite sketch of a sleeping woman with her cat
In Process: the reference photo on the left, and the powdered graphite sketch on the right….

Watercolors Over Powdered Graphite

I used General’s Powdered Graphite, and a Faber-Castel #6 graphite drawing pencil on this small figurative drawing study. After each adjustment, I buffed the surface of the paper (Arches 300 lb cold press) very lightly with a paper towel.

I used my favorite drawing eraser to carve light into the buffed graphite – the General’s Tuff Stuff eraser stick.

a watercolor of a woman napping on a couch with a cat
Blanket Hog 6×6 graphite and watercolor study

Artsy Inspiration Worth Sharing

What makes color work – is proportion….

Kaffe Fassett

Simple set up to attach watercolor paper scraps to cardboard for spontaneous painting
Arranging scraps of Watercolor paper cut offs on a board with masking tape and a protective newsprint cover for evening watercolor experiments on the couch…

What Are You Making?

I’m trying hard not to start anything new until I *finish* the stuff already in process. My word of the year is Finish, because I’m a Jumper. I leap from project to project, media to media, subject to subject. I know, you’re laughing. You read this blog, so you already know that little cookie about me. (Oh well. Looking at my feet, kicking dirt around…)

Once I tear away from one project, I literally forget that I started it while leaping onto the next one. I bungee jump towards “I have an idea!”, over and over again. My brain is a single-story cork board, fluttering with a thousand post it notes, in no particular order.

I’ve struggled with reigning in focus to finish things forever. Getting started is easy, and exciting, but if the project takes more than I have time for in one day, I move on to something else the next time I cross the threshold of my studio door. Ask my husband. And my family. There will be a lot of eye-rolling and mumbling.

To combat this, I deploy a variety of accountability approaches. Lists (Listy McListerson, at your service), verbal commitments to other people, meetings on zoom to go over weekly goals, etc.

So, let’s post an accountability talk in the comments about what we’re going to do this week, okay? You first: What’s on your list to finish in the next seven days?

Thanks for your visit, and I’ll see you in the next post!


My favorite dusty rose pink linen artist’s apron. Mine has printmaking ink stains on it, but I still love it anyway.

Art Quote

After two yrs of circulation in major exhibits, William McGregor Paxton’s painting Sylvia was purchased by an American collector in 1910. His commissions and exhibitions continued at a vigorous pace and by 1935 he had earned more prizes than any other American artist. In NYC, however, where the genteel subjects of the Boston School were less revered, Paxton’s solo shows had mixed reviews. Paxton and his peers were beginning to be eclipsed by the shift to modernist painting.

~E. Lee

a cat making direct eye contact, and asking of you miss your art supplies
Visit Six Tips to Paint More for a Free Video Mini Course

The post Powdered Graphite Under Watercolors appeared first on Belinda Del Pesco’s Art Blog Belinda Del Pesco.


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