Copyright 2005 Jason Warren Booth
What Media & Medium Do I Use?

When I began drawing I had no idea there were any specialized pencils.  It wasn't until I was in the 7th grade that I learned that there was a difference between pencils labelled H, HB, and B.

I can't tell you when I began drawing.  I do know that what drawing I did was with crayons and plain old pencils - you know, the kind you find on the floors at school or church.  When I was older, my mother let me use the pastels she had.  I do remember doing a Christmas drawing (probably 24" X 36") of Bambi with a ribbon and bow around his neck.  I think Mom still has that drawing!

When I went through school in Lampasas, the only ART that was offered was during the 7th and 8th grades.  These classes I took.  I don't remember learning much about art per se.  We just sat down and drew.  I can't remember learning anything about theory, color, or technique.

I drew small pictures for my classmates during the rest of school in Lampasas.  I only used pencil.  I liked it.  It was forgiving.  I could correct my mistakes fairly easily, and I could get some really subtle changes of value.  It wasn't until I moved to Kennewick, WA, in 1981, that I started experimenting with the "other" types and kinds of lead for my drawing.  I have learned through the years that it doesn't make a hoot what the brand, or hardness, or softness is!  It's all about the FEEL of the lead moving across the paper or board.

I used my favorite pencil down to a nub; and, do you know where I got it? I found it on the ground outside of the National Guard Armory in Lampasas when I was still a teenager.  I used it to create the velvet antlers on the Whitetail in Velvet.  It was just a plain #2 pencil that the National Guard was passing out, but it had the greatest feeling lead I have ever run across.  I wish I had a case of them!

I have used many different weights of paper and board.  I choose the ground (artist's technical term for what you're going to work on) depending on the subject and what it is that I'm trying to convey.  For a rough look I have used mat board.  See The African (elephant) to see what I mean.  I used the tooth and surface pattern of the board to provide the wrinkles and rough skin of the elephant.  On the other hand, for the Whitetail in Velvet, I used a smooth paper so I could control how the velvet appeared.

It's just lately that I've begun using the flat-lead or carpenter's pencils.  They come in varying hardnesses; but, the best thing about them is that they are so similar to a pallet knife.  I love the inability to do fine, detailed work with these pencils.  That forces me to be looser.  And there is a certain continuity between my gesture drawings and the final piece.