Using Pencils on Grafix Wet Media Film

December 10, 2013

As a follow-up to my past review of this polyester surface from Grafix, Wet Media film, I wanted to demonstrate how you can prepare it to receive pencil marks by painting it with gouache. I used this process on the background area of my previous painting.

By itself, the Wet Media film is too smooth and glossy to receive marks from a pencil. It just slides across the surface. Even the softer leads leave hardly any mark. However, if you paint the surface with a thin layer of gouache paint, this will accept the pencil marks very well.


In the image above I used a range of several types of dry media to demonstrate how well they work on this film scrap painted with white gouache. It’s about 3 x 5 inches. I used a 6B graphite pencil, a red Prismacolor wax pencil, a stick of NU-Pastel chalk, and pastel; all of which worked very nicely. The charcoal, however, would not get dark at all, much like how it draws on frosted drafting film. Notice how dark it is on paper by comparison.

The only negative with the other media shown here is that the marks won’t erase. You can lighten them by dabbing with a kneaded eraser, but wiping them with an eraser will only cause them to smear. The paint below can be scraped or wiped away with a damp cloth or cotton swab, and repainted if you need to make corrections, or you can paint over the marks.

Of course, the gouache can be any color you wish, as well as multiple colors. You can use a light table to see through the paint if you wish, even the more opaque layers, so that you can work over a previous sketch. The film surface is more durable than paper, but it can be easily cut, creased, or dented, so careful handling is required.


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