#39, egg tempera and graphite on hand-toned paper, 15 x 15 in.
During my last drawing session, while preparing the toned paper I tried something different: instead of mixing color in a bowl, I layered color directly on the paper. This led to some interesting effects, so I tried it again with these two drawings. (I did two other works which were complete flops.) For this piece I began with a cool green––I think it was Viridian, but since I don't keep notes, not wanting to repeat myself, I'm not sure––then layered it with a red earth color to warm it. As you can see, the red is a little stronger at the bottom of the sheet.
My original sketch for this drawing had two small diamonds between the large ones, but I thought I'd use transparency, overlapping three diamond shapes. I began with the pink diamonds overlapping the blue, but the color was so dominant that the blue got lost; when I painted another layer of blue over the pink, I felt that the drawing's balance was improved.
#40, egg tempera and graphite on hand-toned paper, 15 x 15 in.
This drawing was very difficult to photograph: the paper is toned with layers of a dark red and a pigment called Iron Glimmer. It actually does sparkle when you look at it from different angles. I wanted a muted color effect, with the colors and values fairly close together, almost like seeing color at dusk, before it fades into a general darkness. One reason I love doing these drawings is being able to explore color independently of depicting an object, as I do in my paintings.