ArtGraf is a graphite medium made by Viarco, a family owned company in northern Portugal. The product is distributed by Global Art Materials. This is a water-soluble graphite. It can be used to draw and paint with. I’ve also seen it referred to as
ArtGraf comes in tailor chalks, a tin, pencils, sticks, a huge bar, and putty. I find putty fascinating, odd, and really messy, but I’m sure people make awesome art with it. Check out this quick putty video.
This post will feature the tailor shape, which comes in six different colors- Sanguine, Ochre, Sepia, Brown, Dark Brown and Carbon Black. They can be purchased individually, or in a set of the six colors. My local art store sells this product. So do many online retailers – Amazon, Cheap Joes, Wet Paint, etc. It’s easy to find. The sets seem to range from $50- $60. Individuals are priced at $8 plus.
The set comes in a cork holder (sorry for the glare).
The size and look of the Tailor Chalk.
The swatch of all six colors is done on Strathmore 400 Series Watercolor paper. The top of the swatch is dry with lines draw directly with the graphite. The bottom portion I used a wet paintbrush, and then scribbled over the wet portion directly with the graphite. It has transparent wash capabilities. It is said to be erasable once dry, but it didn’t erase very well for me. In my research I’ve been unclear if erasability is only for the type in the tin or stick. It seemed to be a general claim for all of the forms in which it is sold.
This is a messy medium if you pick it up with your hands. A wet brush can be used to pick color directly from the graphite block. It works very well for that. I have a little fun getting messy with art sometimes.
This stuff is very water-soluble.
The inspiration for the example below came from the teabag art of Ruby Silvious. I used a square Bee Paper Company Big Black Bee Bogus Pad– say that three time fast ;). This paper is like using a paper bag. The AftGraf was applied dry, wet and also with a brush. A Pigma Micron pen was used for the finer line details, and the white is Gelly Roll pen.
Below, I used it wet lifting it directly from the graphite with a brush and applying it to the paper. I also dipped the block directly into water and applied it to the paper, splattered with a brush, dry onto wet paper, and dry on dry paper. The blue-green color is Daniel Smith Cascade Green watercolor. The rest is all the ArtGraph colors on Strathmore 400 Series Mixed Media paper, it has a very slight tooth.
To show how water-soluble and also how vibrant it can be, this weird example is on supper smooth Yupo Synthetic Paper. I applied the Sanguine and Ochre ArtGraf dry and used a spray bottle, and then also used it to draw onto the wet paper, and splattered with a brush. There is also a bit of Holbein Brilliant Gold Gouache used. This piece is dry, but it still looks a little wet and fluid with all of the movement and layering going on. It was supposed to be a sun mandala. After it pooled at the top of the page, I discovered that my desk is not level. They can’t all be winners. I’m still showing it because of the process, and it gives you an idea of the versatility of the medium.
I wish there was a blue.
I love watching the 3:41 minute video of this guy using the Carbon Black Tailor Chalk.
In this 5:09 minute video, she makes a beautiful painting with the graphite that comes in the tin. She also shows lifting and erasing.
This is an ongoing series of watercolor and art supply reviews. That was a little cameo appearance above- I’m beginning to work on posts for Daniel Smith Watercolors. There is a lot to cover, and you should see one very soon. I’m thinking about doing a post or two on watercolor/sketch journals, and possibly watercolor brushes. Would those be of interest? Your comments are appreciated.
Happy sketching and painting!