Asking For Help

This may or may not surprise anyone who reads me, but I have absolutely no problems asking for help. Through comments both public (published) and private (email) I have been called pig-headed, intellectually boorish, a know-it-all, any expression you can think of that would tag me as someone who knows better than anyone else about anything, any time, anywhere.

Truth is, I can agree that it appears that way. Truth also is, in matters where fact can be provided through research, I either do that research or I have/had already done that research in the past. The only knee-jerk answers I’ve given have been in the heat of the moment and in a blog, with its store-and-forward qualities, there can be no heat of the moment because there is no real-time aspect.

So anyway, I’m asking for help. Help from those of you out there who are artists. Not “artist” in the sense that it’s your occupation or even avocation. Artist in the sense that you create images using consumables or pixels. In this case, though, I’m looking for help from someone who uses dry media (like pencil, crayon or especially dry (not oil) pastels). I’m asking for help with technique.

The technique involves creating color fields, backgrounds on white drawing paper. With oil paints or watercolors or any of the wet media, it’s obvious—or at least easy once you understand the few non-obvious techniques (e.g., wet the sky area of the paper with a brush and clear water first, then while it’s still wet, wash blues across it).

In my case, I want to cover significant areas of a page with a dark and unremarkable (no specific features) color. I’ve done a few ‘studies’ with various techniques, and I’ve come up with one way of accomplishing my goal, but I have this sneaking suspicion that the technique will not scale to a significant area without looking patchy or uniform enough.

My art teacher (I had weekly 2-hour art school sessions from when I was 7 until I was almost 16) was a big fan of fingers to smudge pastels and charcoal to the point of insisting each of us learn to go without the tightly-wound paper smudge tool that came with a set of charcoal or pastels. What I’ve come up with so far, a small patch that suits my intentions in color and in effect, pleases me quite a bit. And that’s saying something because I don’t have much relative experience with dry (chalk) pastels and because the work suggested that at least some of my instincts are intact.

So please, if anyone can give me a hint or two, I’d greatly appreciate it! If you prefer not to respond publically, send me email. It’s an important project to me, so the sooner the better (how ballsy of me, huh?)

Thank you in advance.