"Undo undo, control Z!" sums it up pretty well. You get most of the way through an image, which you've spent days on, and you realise the drawing has lost it's original form. So, how far can you go back to 'fix it'.... on computer, all you have to do is control z to undo, until you reach the path where the image whent 'awry'.
There are a few things you can do in your drawing to help with the 'fix up' process:
1. Drawing in graphite is very forgiving. Using a putty eraser, lift the graphite until you've worked into or removed the area you're not happy with. With the Arches clay papers, there is a disadvantage - the pencil leaves a scratched surface, even after all the pencil is erased. In the above piece, I used this to my advantage. hair has many directions and facets, so I can rework an area pretty much until I am satisfied.
2. Good paper allows for erasing better than thin fibrous papers. I have found, however, that there does come a time, when working a paper too much (even a good paper) starts to show signs of overwork. It's just finding that balance.
3. Good erasers make the greatest difference. I use a putty rubber and a fairly soft gum rubber - both of these keep the paper underneath in tact.
4. Don't overkil the pencil work - I tend to work densely on my main areas of the drawing, so that there is a greater tonal variation,but what I find is the pencil reworkcan sometimes dull an area of the paper, no matter how much graphite you lift.
5. PLAN before - I generally plan a drawing before starting it, and in many cases, I do a few test drawings and warm up drawings before I start each session, this helps with the 'getting into it', part. This keeps mistakes low and helps with the overall uniformity of the drawing.
6. DON'T panic - and DON'T leave it. Perhaps I'm being a tad fanatical here, but have you ever worked on a painting or drawing, messed up an area, and instead of fixing it (even if it does require erasing whole areas, as above) you leave it? I can almost guarantee that if it's a commission, a. the person paying for the work will pick up on the error (especially if it's portrait work) and b. you'll know it's there, and really come to dislike the piece for it... do yourself a favour, fix it... toil , and then be satisfied.
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Tanya is a traditional and digital artist, living in Brisbane and inspired by all that is 'Art'.