​'Binary Movement' Charcoal and Colour Pencil Drawing WIP

Hiya guys, so unlike my usual conceptual artworks, this piece was started off with me having this awesome quality dark brown paper that I really wanted to use...lol. It could have been anything, I wasn't looking to create anything more than perhaps a figurative piece alone, but the ideas started to roll as I started to source my imagery. Once I had a clear idea of what I wanted to say, the design flowed from there...

To save time and to ensure the paper did not get overworked, the figures were lightly traced on to the paper as a guide.
I then went in with a charcoal pencil to get a good quality of line (line that shows light/shadow and a feel of the 3D form by how narrow/thick or strong the line is). I try to convey this through the contouring line alone, the shading etc.. comes secondary to this.. The quality of line is adjusted throughout...

The darkest darks were then established first, to help me get a handle on the overall tones of the piece and how far I would be going when it came to adding my lightest colour pencil hues..

The tones and hues I would be using and where, needed to be quite clear in my mind. Though I could rub off parts that didn't come out right, sometimes colour pencil might leave unwanted residue behind that might have an unwanted effect to the overall look of the piece. 
My colour pencil lines (and to a lesser extent charcoal, as they were easily to remove without trace) needed to be clean and sure, and any effect where I muted their tone etc. would be done intentionally to create dimensionality to the figures or mood to the piece..

Woman charcoal drawing in progressMale charcoal drawing in progress

After the initial charcoal drawing was done I decided to add the silverleaf now, rather than later, to avoid any accidental blurring or smudging that might happen to the final drawing in the process.

The DNA pattern was designed on some tracing paper first and then transferred to the artpiece where I started the gilding process by applying waterbased gilding paste with a size 1 round synthetic brush (dipped in hand soap first, for easy clean up)

The bottom right of 'Zer' (left panel) is gilded with goldleaf to represent the DNA of the Y chromosome, while the silver are of the X.

After the leaf was laid, I left it to dry till the next day before brushing it off.

On the easel - laying the silverleaf
Silver/gold leaf laid and left to dry overnight before brushing off. The piece on the whole is titled 'Binary Movement', but individually the left panel is named 'Zer' and the right 'Ze'.

 With the silver/gold metal leaf done I now started in with the colour pencil.

In pretty much the order shown below - after the charcoal,the grayish purple was used, then the deep purple, fuschia, dark yellow ocher.... and then a mix between the nude and light yellow ocher, finished off with white. 
Of course I would still go back and forth between hues when the need arose, but it helped to work this way to ensure firstly that I created harmony between the two panels by working on them at the same level as much as possible, and secondly, darker colour pencil hues do not go over lighter hues very well, thus it is my understanding (and experience) that it is usually best practice to work from dark to light with colour pencils (and pastels as it so happens)

Charcoal and colour pencil hues in order used.

Colour Pencil Crosshatch Drawing detail
Going in with the lighter hues.

Careful attention was given to rendering the parts of the figure (upper) that I wished the eye to rest on more. 
If I had rendered the whole of both the figures with an equal amount of detail it would have become too busy and lack depth and focus (as mentioned earlier).
I was also careful not create too much layering to retain the clear linear quality of the patterned cross contouring lines, plus I wanted the paper underneath to show through..

With the figures done, the gold leaf was given a slight copperish tingh with a burnt umber+glaze acrylic coating (this dulled the shine of the gold leaf a bit) and then a touch of silverleaf in parts on top was added to help it harmonized more with the rest of the piece and add to the concept.

Finally, the silver/gold metal leaf was given a final touch of indented lines that matched that of the patterny colour pencil lines on the figures..

Charcoal and Colour Pencil Figurative Drawing with Silverleaf on the easel

A protective coat of UV Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating (Krylon) was sprayed over the whole piece in the end and I was glad to see it did not effect the shine of the silver leaf as I had initially expected.

Here is 'Binary Movement' scanned and colour corrected and (coming soon) if interested you can find more close ups, concept info or collect at 'Binary Movement'.. !! :)

Thanks so much for dropping by!!..

p.s latest youtube video showing this piece (as it should be viewed) illuminated in light and motion..


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