5-2-2 Research Point : Moore’s – Sleepers and John Marin’s The Singer Building

Look for other examples of mixed media pictures such as Henry Moore’s Pink and Green Sleepers (shown page 35 course book / notes) which uses wax resist and John Marin’s The Singer Building (page 157 course book / notes) which uses pencil and charcoal.

The two examples noted by Moore and Marin are shown below.


Henry Moore, Pink and Green Sleepers, 1941, Graphite, ink, gouache and wax on paper Tate Collection


John Marin “The Singer Building”, 1921                               Watercolor, charcoal, and black conté crayon on paper. Philadelphia Museum of Art



Woman Seated in the Underground 1941 – Henry Moore

Henry Moore did many sketches of people in the underground.  These poignant reminders of the hardships faced by the London people in the Blitz as they sheltered have been atmospherically captured by Moore.  An insight to his working method is noted below in a letter.

Moore Letter to E.D. Averill, 11 December 1964

“I hit upon this technique by accident, sometime before the war when doing a drawing to amuse a young niece of mine.  I used some of the cheap wax crayons (which she had bought from Woolworth’s) in combination with a wash of water-colour, and found, of course, that the water-colour did not ‘take’ on the wax, but only on the background.

I found also that if you use a light-coloured or even white wax crayon, then a dark depth of background can easily be produced by painting with dark water-colour over the whole sheet of paper. ”








Sir William Orpen – The Letter Pencil, watercolour and coloured chalk






Missionary Position II 1985 Sonia Boyce born 1962 Purchased 1987 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T05020

Sonia Boyce – Missionary Position II, 1985 Watercolour, pastel and crayon on paper, Tate Collection

Watercolour, pastel and crayon on paper, Tate Collection

No Woman, No Cry 1998 Chris Ofili born 1968 Purchased 1999 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T07502

Chris Ofili No Woman, No Cry, 1998 Oil paint, acrylic paint, graphite, polyester resin, printed paper, glitter, map pins and elephant dung on canvas Tate Collection



The above examples show various methods and mediums which artists use to develop a picture and utilise a variety of means to achieve a particular texture etc.

Above Orpen used pencil and chalks along with watercolour to chive his aims, whilst, Boyce uses pastel and crayon.  However, Ofili utilises an unconventional medium – elephant dung to use alongside other more conventional materials in his work, “ No Woman , No Cry”.


Wallisy Kandinsky Color Study. Squares with Concentric Circles, 1913 Watercolor, gouache and crayon on paper Munich, Germany. Lenbachhaus Gallery


Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix, The Fireplace, 1824 Watercolor over graphite with traces of crayon on off-white laid paper



Kandinsky utilises watercolour, gouache and crayon to develop an abstract image of a series of circles and squares.  Delacriox uses crayon and pencil to support the watercolour image of a fireplace.  The crayon looks to have been used to assist with developing the texture of the stone  fire surround.


Honoré Daumier – Street Show (Paillasse) (recto); a clown playing a drum (verso) Black chalk and watercolor on laid paper (recto); graphite and black chalk (verso) Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Daumier uses chalks to support the watercolour image.   Much of the line work and some of the darker tones are chalk which is used to develop the earlier pencil underdrawing.

Kent uses a mix of watercolour, crayon and graphite to make a quick sketch as a study for a larger work.  The crayon is used on its side to quickly block in tone.


Rockwell Kent – Sermilik Fjord Study for the lithograph c. 1931 Watercolor, black crayon, and graphite on off-white watercolor paper



Marcel Duchamp, Moonlight on the Bay at Basswood, 1953 Black ink, graphite pencil, wax crayon, talcum powder, and chocolate on blue blotting paper



Carol Engles – Temecula Valley Hills Watercolor with pastel and charcoal


On the right Engles uses pastel and charcoal to develop an impression of a scene of hills and a lake.  There is scratching out as well as pastel in the foreground to represent the foreground grasses and lakeside foliage.  Duchamp is another who utilises unconventional mediums in his work and above he has used ink, crayon and pencil along with talc, and chocolate.


Images and info accessed 12 Sept’16















My Use of Moore’s Technique

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moore-et01In order to gain an insight into this technique used by Henry Moore I decided to do a couple of experiments to see if I could get similar outcomes.

Using a wax candle (a somewhat blunt instrument to draw with!) I drew some lines onto white watercolour paper.  To check where I had drawn I tilted the paper to the light and used the shine from the wax to indicate where the candle had passed over.  Once the drawing was finished, I then over washed the entire sheet of paper with a dark mix of ‘Neutral Tint paint.  This stained the paper where no wax had been placed leaving the paper white under the wax.  The rough surface of the watercolour paper resulted in the drawn lines and shapes having a hit and miss effect allowing the paint to gather in those areas.  To overcome this I used plain light copier paper.  This allowed an unbroken layer of wax to be applied either by candle or crayon



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