Reach for the sky • October 30, 2015


Hey there –


I’ve managed to bring a another Mt. Haynes picture back to life – really back to life in fact, but have also run into an unexpected hitch.


This is how it looked on Wednesday evening:


Haynes 11


The problem was that the broad sweep of black outlining the peak and skyline no longer worked. What started as a marvelous calligraphic mark when this picture was less well developed . . .


mt haynes 11 early


. . . became far too overpowering in the latter version. And those big white triangles in each upper corner were horribly distracting too. Clearly, a different sky had to go in, but how should it look?


Questions like this are sometimes easily answered if I take a snapshot of a drawing, open it in Photoshop and mess with it. Here is the digital rough I came up with, which I desperately liked:


Haynes 11 copy5


Okay, so having it look great in pixels and bits is NOT the same thing as managing it for real. How do you get rid of a lot of black ink? The answer is you don’t, not completely. But with patient, careful sanding (600 grit paper) and lots of erasing (kneaded, pink pearl and electric), you can almost move a mountain! This next photo is of the end result:


After sanding


And it’s also as far as I can take it. I like the grainy quality now (thankfully because it can’t be helped), but I’m also nervous: however I lay in the next gray washes and mess with ’em, it must be done once and just right – my paper is on the edge of fatigue and can’t take much more.


I’m glad I have to lay this picture aside for a day or two, while I finish framing for my Paterson Show. WE HANG IT NEXT WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY!


I may not be able to post further progress on this picture (if there is any) until late next week.


Take care All –


Your Buddy Bill