If it wasn't for the love affair with mixed media, I wouldn't have signed-up for the course, this year. But I'm glad I did, because I'm learning so much about charcoal. It's uncanny however, that all roads lead back to Rome - as you'll see in my next portrait, in the series.
This wasn't going to be a reverse portrait, this time. I would apply the charcoal straight to white paper. As I was determined to use the stick, more on it's side, than on it's tip. It was great for filling in blocks of colour, without getting hung up on details.
Then things changed. Experimentation, soon evolved into a horrible, dark and unappealing mess. Major frustration! Rather than quit on my picture or give myself a hard time, I turned to my former muse of mixed media. Because collage, immediately covers a multitude of sins!
I finally got the chance to use my new Liquitex, matte medium, to paste on the newsprint. And because it's charcoal, the medium turned grey and stained the newsprint too. Effectively blending it to the rest of the picture, and making the charcoal less intense, overall.
Dark, muddy mess - be gone! Okay, maybe not completely, so I used a touch of white charcoal, under the chin, and in his hair, for highlights.
Unintentionally, looks like, Australian bush-ranger ~
In this close-up, you can see the original white paper, black charcoal, collage and matte medium. Which is actually the brush strokes, caused by the medium, moving the charcoal around. I like this effect. It tones down the charcoal - as my eraser, wasn't real good at cutting into the charcoal.
It was a fun experiment, but not strictly charcoal. Which is okay. Because all roads still lead back to Rome eventually! I'm going to return to charcoal. I'm debating whether I'll do another portrait, or just move on to the next exercise though. I'll see where my muse, takes me, tomorrow!
PS: I used the racing guide as newspaper, for this particular collage. Pieces were randomly torn and put down. After blowing up the picture, I find one of the names: "LOVE OR GOLD" on his cheek. Which kind of matches the Ned Kelly theme. Weird, huh?