Monday, December 06, 2010
More on sanguine
It's a naturally occurring mineral, mined for centuries in Italy (natch), that can be used straight in chunks, or combined with other things like oil and other coloured chalks to produce things like this:
Apparently, my instinct to save the powder from the sandings was a good one. (It comes of having been raised by a post-war baby who grew up in England during rationing. You never, ever throw anything away that might come in useful). You can combine the powder with water to make a sort of ink that can be used with a brush. I haven't done very much ink-and-brush work, but the little I've done has been with the el-cheapo big plastic bottles of water-based calligraphy ink I used to buy in Chinatown in Vancouver. Great fun, and because it's so cheap, you can be pretty lavish with your experiments and not feel guilty.
Of course, now I'd give my eye teeth for just one bottle of the stuff, since Rome has no Chinatown.
Anyway, sanguine pencils apparently have quite different properties from the pure mineral. You can cut little bits of it, put it in a metal holder and get some very fine lines. You can use the powder dry to dust over a bit that you want only slightly toned (I already figured that one out all my myself! Woo!) and it does all sorts of interesting things on a wet canvas or paper ground.
I wonder if anyone has any tips for the Amazing-Disappearing-Sanguine-Line problem.
Sanguine ink drawing by Stephanie Goldman.
Must try this!