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Hazel Money - Graphite Techniques 

 May 2024 demonstration 

There’s so much you can do with a pencil! 

Hazel said she has not always been an artist but now around 95% of her income is from her art. 


Tonight she is reproducing a picture of a barn in Castleton. During lockdown when Hazel was based there and it was much quieter than usual and she frequently went out with her sketchbook. She found cross-hatching really boring and instead picked up a graphite stick which is like the lead in a pencil but much chunkier. 


A worksheet was provided to those present showing various things you can do with a pencil. Hazel demonstrated different ways of shading. She showed us how you can blend a crosshatched area using a cotton wool pad. The pad was used to apply a very pale grey area. You could barely see the grey until a line was drawn through with an eraser, demonstrating how you can make negative shapes. Lines in patches in various directions give a varied texture. 


Hazel demonstrated a quick and simple stone wall, designed to work well in plein air when speed is of the essence. Outside she had used a stone wall to rub over to add quick interest in the foreground. She has used leaves in the same way. 


The picture used contained a small building with a lean to, a Dutch barn, a stone wall, a gate, a tree and lots of interesting shadows. Hazel started by placing the main items, rubbing some bits out until she was happy with the composition. 


For blending, Hazel uses a dirty eraser. The clean one is regularly wiped off on her trousers - dark ones of course! Hazel doesn’t worry about smudging certain areas - like working with acrylics, nothing is permanent. The wall technique was used but developed by adding some deep shadows. For the barn, Hazel used a piece of sandpaper to rub over. A piece of old anaglypta wallpaper was used to rub over for the roof (later the shape of tiles was added) and corrugated cardboard for the corrugated iron roof of a lean-to. A distant wall was added with fence posts getting smaller and closer together to add distance. The skeleton of the Dutch barn was added and blended using a cotton bud.  Little ‘v’s were used in the gable end.


Hazel said she usually adds the sky at the end so she can decide what works best with the picture.


In the second half of the evening Hazel looked at the picture with a critical eye and mentioned that she would bear in mind that more contrast was needed so would have some really white areas and some very dark ones. The first half had comprised the man made parts so at this stage only the gate and organic items were left to do. The edge of a tin foil pie dish was used to make crumple marks. An ivy leaf was used in the sky and served to represent some of the twigs in the tree. Hazel described it as ‘random noise’, nature being a messy thing. 


The dirty eraser was used to add a soft horizon line. A wicker basket was used under the paper for the grass. It left some interesting dark horizontal marks as well as the leafy verticals. Shadows were added in, but not as many as shown in the photograph. A rubber was used to place the gate in front of the field. Some darker tone was pulled off onto a cotton bud, which was then used to add subtle texture in the distance. 


Hazel’s original sketch was found, which contained some details that were missing from the photograph. 


A piece of swirly textured wallpaper was used in the sky and then a decision was made to make it a stormy sky and it was blended to a darker tone. 


Finally, the masking tape was peeled back to reveal the finished work with nice clean edges. 

Click Here to see some pictures from Hazel's demonstration

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