Head of Apollo - Oil Pastel Sgrafitto Drawing
Oil Pastel Sgrafitto Drawing on Rag Board
4" x 5"
This is an example of a wonderful technique
that is very ancient, very fun, and easy to learn.
It can also produce beautiful results. As a matter
of fact, you may have even done it in elementary
school when you took a piece of tag board and
covered it with lots of different colors of crayons,
covered all that with black crayon, and then scraped
through to reveal the colors underneath.
The first sgrafitto was done on simple pottery long ago -
scraping through one colored glaze to get to another
one. It was used beautifully on Greek vases. Breughel
used it in certain passages in his paintings to create
patterns in fabric. He would glaze a dark pink, for
instance, over a lighter color, and then use the end
of the handle of his brush to create a floral or other type
of pattern to mimic fabric.
I have experimented with every type of Crayola crayon
that has been made. My favorite were "Silver Swirls", because
they had colors that were like the patina on bronze statues:
lustrous bluish greens, teals, bronzes, russets reds and oranges.
I would lay these down thickly massed together in random
patterns and cover that thickly with a smooth layer of Caran d'Ache
Neo-Color Oil Pastels in Olive Green or Brown or Black. Then,
using any scraping tools (scraperboard tools are good for this)
you can draw and create the most beautiful pictures. My favorite
subject matter is ancient sculpture. My favorite tool is a cylinder
that has six equal-length wires coming out of it that enable me to
draw with curved cross-hatching easily and elaborately. It is really