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In this chapter we will be taking a look at dry media. Dry media is largely associated with the activity of drawing. One of the key aspects of dry media is the way in which the medium, which is normally graphite or compressed pigment, interacts with the surface that it is applied to. Paper in this case. The surface generally has somewhat of a tooth to it so that the abrasive quality of the media being applied creates the imparting of that media onto the surface. Because of this you can get some interesting expressive variability within the marks applied to the paper.
We will start with pencils, which are the granddaddy of dry media. While we normally think of the pencil is a line making tool, depending on how you orient its tip to the receiving surface, it can also be used to create a range of tonality. As you can see depending on how lightly I press, I can get what appears to be a full range of tonality. When you think about it though what's really happening down at the micro scale is that one color, black in this instance, is being applied to the upper grain of the surface in varying amounts.
This creates the illusion of varying tonality. Painter has built-in surface textures that duplicate this ability to use pressure to create these varying amounts of tonality. We are also going to take a look at chalk. With chalk you have the introduction of color just beyond a simple graphite pencil. I will start to draw a bit with some chalk. What happens here is that you have the ability to impart color, which is a very expressive addition to the artist's visual vocabulary. Because chalk is a dry compressed medium, you can see here that it is very easy to use my finger to blend colors.
This makes chalk very attractive for paper- based projects in which blended color is desired. Final dry medium we will look at here is oil pastel. The unique quality of oil pastels is that it is a pigment bound by wax. Because of this it is capable of building up multiple colors with a very creamy appearance. You can see here that the harder I press the thicker of an application of color I get. Then if I apply another color like yellow, there is a very creamy quality that results when the yellow interacts with the already applied under color.
You can see how I can use my finger to begin to blend these colors together. So oil pastels offer the ability to apply and blend color. Once again Painter duplicates these behaviors via the Wacom tablet. You can even simulate the extreme tilting of a pastel or chalk to increase the applied surface area of a medium to the paper. Using a Wacom tablet to sense the artist's hand motions enables a wide range of expressability, just like its traditional counterparts.
Now let's go ahead and take a look at Painter's dry media.
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