Charcoal Time Lapse Drawing | Samskara | Opening Your Heart Chakra ❤ | Paisley Pattern Culture

Charcoal Time Lapse Drawing | Samskara | Opening Your Heart Chakra ❤ | Paisley Pattern Culture

Greetings is Harriet here, I hope you’ve
all been having a wonderful week! Welcome back to MyfanwyNia’s Studio here in
Leitrim’s Iron Mountains. Today I am sharing a time-lapse from one of my
recent charcoal drawings. I’m working on a large 50 by 70 centimeter piece of 300gsm Fabriano, this is Italian cold press mould made paper, it is made from cellulose
and cotton making it very strong and able to handle a lot of intensive heavy
handed work, perfect for charcoal. I began by taping my piece of paper down to the
table. I decided to work on a flat surface primarily because I’m
filming this, but usually when I work in charcoal I much prefer working upright
on wall. Charcoal can be a very messy medium a
working upright allows the loose charcoal dust a little bits of eraser to
fall beneath the drawing, as opposed to just sitting on the surface of the work
and having the need to constantly blow them away.
I’m using uncompressed willow charcoal. Willow is a tree that is native to
Ireland and the UK and they grow very fast and spread very easily. Good artists
charcoal is mostly pure carbon and is made by baking the willow branches in a
low oxygen environment, this process can take days to burn off the compounds such
as water, methane, hydrogen and tar. I have experimented with making it in the past,
with varying degrees of success; But today I’m using a range of different sized
pieces by Coats and Daler Rowney, who have the process perfected for consistant mark making. I use sponges for blending.
I love using these baby bath sponges they’re very soft and made of nylon, but you
can use any kind of sponge. I use them for creating large areas of flat time
and for scrubbing out any line work that I want to clear I delight in soft flat
transitional tones when working with this soft medium and for me sponges achieve
these qualities. My initial sketch for the character is very simple and very
sketchy, it’s just a very basic structural outline. I did not use a
reference image for this piece instead I have a little chibi style ball jointed
doll, with which I posed her arms to get a very basic idea of the composition of
my character, like the kind of dolls an artist would you use for getting poses.
It has no facial features but it has a good shape for this style of work. I use
it sitting on a shelf above my table once I grasp my composition, mistakes and
all, I use a sponge to soften all the outlines, this also gets the page to a
mid-tone so I can start sculpting the line work with my eraser and redefine
the outlines I want to keep. I see this process as a push and pull, dark to light,
adding and taking away, this is the way I work with charcoal. I’m still figuring
out the hands which have always been a body part I have struggled to get right,
I’m actually finding myself enjoying the challenge of them.
I now also am figuring out the hair and what I want to do with the rest of the
piece. I know I wanted her to be kind of cupping her heart or having some kind of
hand motions around her heart. This piece is inspired by a book I have been
reading recently called the Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, he explains
aspects of meditation in very easily understood language, making it very
accessible to a broad audience. In the book he explains the Sanskrit word
Samscara in the following way “A Samscara is a blockage an impression from the
past, it’s an unfinished energy pattern that winds up running your life”
end quote. Singer writes that all energy that has come into us has to keep moving
through us and so often we are either trying to push the energy away because
it bothers us or we’re trying to cling to it because we like it but in the long
term any energy patterns that cannot make it through you are pushed out to
the forefront of our minds and buried until we are prepared to
release them. These energy patterns hold remarkable emotional detail and memories
about the events and hurts associated with them, they don’t just disappear we
carry them with us in our hearts creating blocks to being completely
open-hearted. When we are unable to allow life’s energies to pass through us these
patterns may be held within us for a very long time and become a problem, if
they build up you may find yourself in a state of depression. In his book Singer
shares “Imagine these blocks in your heart as
thorns, visualize them penetrating your heart and protruding all the way outside
your body, they stick out. Whenever someone something or an event brushes up
against a particular thorn it hurts, that Samskara is being disturbed. You have a
few choices when this happens, well first you can prevent it from
happening by avoiding the situation that might disturb the thorn, if we do this
though that we are not living to the fullest and we are living in fear” end quote.
What Singer suggests through meditation and mindfulness, is that we learn to be
centered, conscious enough to recognize when a thorn has been disturbed,
we just need to experience what comes up, be aware of it, accept it and then let it
flow out of us. He says “Just relax your heart, forgive, laugh, shift to
gratefulness, do anything you want, just don’t push it back down. It’s gonna
probably hurt but hopefully not for long and then it’s over you’ve let it
pass through you. This process happens over and over, all the time. The result of
a constant open heart that allows energy of love to flow, you live in love and it
feeds and strengthens you and this purification is a wonderful thing” end
quote. I wanted to portray this idea of energy
flowing out of my character’s open heart. I use a heart motif and gave it little
inner edges to represent it as being opened. I feel her expression as
contemplative, curious, willing to embrace some of these ideas and learn to process
a let go of her Samscaras. Whilst drawing I’m still in this mode of
pushing and pulling with my image, I tidy up the line work redrawing them and
redefining them by partially fading them out gently with a cotton bud. I’m
switching between a few different thicknesses of charcoal. I find the very
thin one is easily snapped but it’s very good for little sharp details, the main
heavier marks I’m using a thicker piece just under a centimeter thick, it goes
down much denser and doesn’t snap as much so you can draw quite strong steady
lines and fill out solid areas of blacks. Once I get an even dark tone down I use
an eraser to draw the strands of shine in her hair, I go back over the edges of
these shines with fine strand-like marks with the charcoal. if you snap the
charcoal in half you quickly get a sharp edge for delicate sharp lines.
The erasers I use are the Statler Mars plastic ones or any other brand of
vinyl eraser. I know a lot of artists prefer to use putty rubbers with charcoal
and I do also use a putty rubber sometimes. The good thing about putty rubbers is that
they don’t leave any deposits behind like the little rubbings that you get
with other types of erasers. I like the vinyl erasers because of the
firmness, they make clean bright lines through the charcoal. I use a craft blade
to cut them sharp as I’m working I’m repeating cutting thin slices of my
eraser off to get a new clean edge as I work that is also very sharp,
I can draw this very precisely into the dusted charcoal surface. Unlike other
grainy erasers, the rubbery deposits from the vinyl erasers roll together with
minimal crumbling, then these little bits are easily just blown away. These erasers
really suit this type of drawing for me over putty rubbers because I tend to
create dense areas of charcoal within my work and I find with a putty rubber they
just gunk up very fast and become completely black and you’ll be there and your
plying them and plying them and there sticky but they don’t really function
anymore to get a bright white area. I will only really use them towards the
end for finishing touches and picking out a little bits. When I’m working with
charcoal and probably erasing almost as much as I’m putting down charcoal, again
it’s this push and pull of light and dark, I’m adding and taking away,
smoothing out small areas with my little sponges. I’m using these little sponges
on sticks they’ve got a little chisel point, I think they are good for getting
into sharp edge shapes but I do think next time I go to buy them I try and get
white ones because the ones I have have black tips and for charcoal you can’t
really see how dirty they are when you go to use them and sometimes they just
leave a big old mess, the complete opposite of what I was aiming for.
I’ve been taking out a new one as they need it and trying to remember which was
the cleanest, judging how black the wooden handle is. You can wash them out
in water, dry them and use them again, so that’s a good practice to get into if
you buy those. You can also clean the charcoal out of the baby
spounges too just let them dry out before you use them. I’m also using a makeup
brush I use that sometimes for brushing away some of my eraser deposit, it’s also
good for softly moving some of the charcoal around, charcoal is a very
powdery medium so this very soft brush is nice to use. I also shade with my
finger but not too much, I mostly use a little cotton stick for smaller areas. I decided to do a Paisley inspired pattern
as the background of this piece. Paisley is one of my favorite patterns and a
reoccurring motif in a lot of my work. The original Persian droplet-like motif or the boteh is thought to have been a representation of a floral spray
combined with a cypress tree. A Zoroastrian symbol of life and eternity.
The seed like shape is also thought to represent fertility and has connection
with Hinduism and also bears an intriguing resemblance to famous yin and
yang symbol. Imports from the East India Company via the silk routes brought the
textile pattern to Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. It became… shorthand for sophisticated, artsy bohemia. In the Victorian era trade between Britain
and India was very buoyant and pattens story was part of a much wider
dialogue between Eastern and Western cultures at the time, a cultural
exchange but also an industry. William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement
adapted the print and it became an integral part of the Aesthetic Movement and Art Nouveau. Paisley became identified with psychedelic style, due to a
resurgence in the patterns mainstream popularity leading up to the mid and
late 60s, partially due to the Beatles during their Eastern influence phase when
the band were Paisley mad. John Lennon even painted his rolls-royce
with the pattern, it became an emblem of ‘the summer of love’
and the often eye watering aesthetic of the psychedelic era with it’s acid trip
patterns and mind-melting colors of hippie culture.
I use it to depict a flow of energy moving an artistic expression of energy
flow coming out of her heart chakra, merging into the depths of the energies
flowing all around her energy fields and beyond. I think it’s a very fluid drop-like
pattern, so with it’s rich cultural and historical context I feel it’s a very
good aesthetic to use. Towards the end of my drawing, I’ve used the Towards the end of my drawing I’ve used a Faber Castell Pitt Pastel White Chalk Pencil, these are great chalk pencils that are easily
sharpened to a good strong point. I’ve fixed my drawing at this stage charcoal fixative spray, once it’s fixed, it dries very quickly, only then I use the white
chalk pencil because it’s not going to pull up or blend with the charcoal too
much. I’m just adding little highlights and coloring in some brighter flat areas
with the pencil. I will again list my tools materials below the video. When I’m
happy with my drawing it’s time to remove the masking taped edges and reveal
the bright unpowderd whiteness of the paper, this is always so satisfying to do!
Removing the masking tape gives the work a lovely little border, which makes it
very easy to mount if I ever want to consider framing the finished piece. This
drawing took me about six hours to complete. I’m am bit out of practice with
the medium of recent, but I thoroughly enjoyed finding my way back into it, as
charcoal is my all-time favorite and I am very pleased of how she turned out. If
you were interested in purchasing this piece it will be available soon on my
website the link is below the video if you would like to check out this or my
other available artworks. This week in my studio I have an art student Hazel
Gardner, shadowing me for two weeks for her work experience as part of her art
portfolio course in County Sligo. She has been helping me during the day by
photographing and adding my art products to my website, which has been also very
helpful to me. During the evening she has been working on her sketchbook and she
is very very talented! She also created this little animated dreamy border on my
time-lapse, which I absolutely adore! I will add a link to her Instagram below
my video, so do check out all her wonderful art! We are coming to the end
of my timelapse now so if you’ve made it this far, thank you so much for watching!
And I hope to see you all again soon for another video, bye bye.

5 thoughts on “Charcoal Time Lapse Drawing | Samskara | Opening Your Heart Chakra ❤ | Paisley Pattern Culture

  1. I love how this piece turned out! I love the look of charcoal but I'm so messy and I just get it everywhere! 😁 Great video!✌❤⭐

  2. Fantastic Drawing! it's so cool to watch the process as the drawing comes to life during the video. you really do have superb control with the charcoal medium! Another fantastic video from a fantastic and insightful soul… so looking forward to the next one!

  3. wow wow your drawing id so beautiful😀🌸 one more friend here☝️🤝😀 habe a wonderful day🌸😀🎶✈️😍

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