A while back I did a number of drawings on Arches “rough” watercolor paper with charcoal. The above drawing of Cliff is an example of the stippling effect you get from it. The paper is very thick since it IS watercolor paper, and can really take a beating with the charcoal as well as the eraser. I was so enthralled by it in the beginning that I went ahead and bought a great big roll of the paper. Recently I had the brainstorm to do a very large drawing on this paper. It will be about 40″ X 60″ in the end. This presents a number of logistical problems.
The first one I encountered was the seemingly innocuous act of unrolling that damn paper. It has been several years since I used it, and seemed to like the way it had come to rest–in a tight little nasty coil of a roll. Imagine unfurling a thin piece of tightly wound metal. Very similar as the paper is, don’t forget, quite thick. I felt like Jerry Lewis in The Disorderly Orderly trying to wind gauze around the accident victim. Just not meant to be. I had to get a helper in to wrestle the paper to the floor. I rolled a piece out that must have been 10 feet long, and it still wanted to spring back like a rubber band. I finally resorted to spraying the whole thing with water to make it relax. I swear I heard it sigh. It is now sitting with books on it, and I am afraid to lift them off in case it springs back into action having dried.
If I were a cartoonist I would draw myself with a bewildered look on my face standing inside a tube up to neck. It would look like the front page of the LA Times, and the headline would be WATERCOLOR PAPER CONSUMES ARTIST.
I will keep you posted on my next logistical hurdle with it.