Ken asked me about the materials I use so I shall now reveal how boring and unsophisticated I am! I'm afraid my eyes glaze over and my brain goes blank when I read about art supplies - I need to see photos. So I'm inviting the EDMers to take photos of their supplies and show them on their blogs - pretty please and thankyouverymuch.
This is the Winsor and Newton pad that I have used for most of the challenge drawings. The sticker says it is an A4 case bound sketch book, 160 pages, 100gsm. Before this, and for years, I used to do my portraits on A3 Daler Rowney 130gsm cartridge pads.
Around about 1997, I decided to give up trying to work larger to do smaller drawings more often and came across this lovely little pad. I wanted everything it to be perfect (there, I said it!), to pass on to my children, blah blah blah. Big mistake. Lovely paper though and it has a slightly creamy colour that I used to like for portraits. It's a Daler Rowney, hard cover, 150gsm acid free cartridge paper.
There aren't any really exciting art supply shops here, they tend to stock the same old things every year. A new shop opened a couple of years ago and has quite a good selection although still a bit limited. I really like the Winsor and Newton pad (top photo) but the paper is a bit thin but then this suddenly appeared - now my favourite pad - it's a Winsor and Newton 'Wire-O Sketch Book', 150gsm - almost the same but heavier. The paper is perfect! Give me a soft pencil and I'm in heaven! (Should I seek help?) Oh, nearly forgot -pencils. My favourites have always been the Berol Venus (top picture, right). They are not easy to find so I also use Faber Castells (Catell 9000). The reason I like the Berol Venus pencils is that they have the least amount of grit - really bad for the concentration, having to keep sharpening - and compared to the Rexel Derwents, they are a warmer grey which I prefer for portraits (although that could be a figment of my imagination!) I haven't found any erasers I like better than the Staedtler Mars Plastic (top). I cut them up to make sharp clean points and to take away any unwanted smudges around the edges.
I've included a 6" ruler in the photos to show the size of the drawings. I've beaten myself up for years thinking I should work larger but apart from the fact that this is not natural for me, I think it's unimportant now we can scan and enlarge. (So far, no-one has come to arrest me!)
Anyone still awake? Hello?