Returning to my least favorite paper (or is it) and working in graphite on a falcon

Back to the Bristol vellum and back to basics with this graphite falcon. I already had this falcon sketched out on a section of Bristol vellum and wanted to finish the sheet so I could move on. Having already discovered I didn’t like Bristol vellum, I wasn’t looking forward to working on this.

Watch the time lapse or skip down for more.

Crappy Paper again?

falcon-1I had worked on this same paper with my mountain and quail which didn’t work well for me and what I wanted to do. It was simply too smooth for my liking. As such, I was dreading working on this paper again but in the interests of finishing things, I broke out my graphite pencils hoping that it would go faster.

Not hard enough

falcon-2I was working with a small set of 9000 series graphite pencils from Faber Castell and a couple of very old, harder Berol pencils. The lay down by both pencils was surprisingly smooth considering how much I struggled with the paper the last time I used it. My main problem, despite using a very light hand, was that my 2H pencil was too dark. I ended up laying down graphite, gently blending out with a stump before lightly lifting off what I could to get the background light enough.

Good Paper?

falcon-3The paper worked very well for me with the graphite and I had fun finishing up this falcon. The feathers, blocked in with the 2H, came together with some light shading with a 2B and sometimes a 4B. I barely used my softer pencils and most of the time kept wishing for even harder pencils. Given this experience, I will be saving this paper for graphite work and will also give it a try for ink work.

Supplies Used

A 14×17” piece of Strathmore Bristol vellum divided into 6 sections yielding an approximate 5×7″ size end size.

Faber Castell 9000 series graphite pencils as well as a couple of Berol pencils. Blending stumps, kneaded eraser, and my still unreplaced broken Kum long point round out the supplies.

What next?

If you have been following me on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, you’ll have gotten a preview of what is next. Let me know in the comments what paper or surface you like.

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