A method developed for faded pigment representation by the Epigraphic Survey involves Derwent pencils

Jun 22, 2021

In their early publications, the Epigraphic Survey’s artists recorded numerous samples of polychrome painted reliefs using monochrome photographic enlargements as the basis for facsimile paintings, a highly effective technique when representing well-preserved wall decoration with only one paint stage. However, the complicated series of paint stages in the ambulatory of the Small Temple requires a more complex approach. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

After some experimentation, it was found that good results could be obtained by creating enhanced color pencil drawings on transparent film, using the finalized black-and-white facsimile line drawings of the scenes as a background. The color pencils enable the artist to reproduce finely painted lines, even at scale, and the original tones can be represented accurately by building up each color from three different pencil hues, thus capturing the wide variety of color transitions needed for faithful replication of the original, especially where faded or eroded.

A crosshatched texture mixing the three selected hues indicates large color panels, complementing the individual color pencil lines used to record the fine paint lines. As an update to this method, Survey artists have started experimenting with the digital reproduction of Egyptian paint, using the popular iPad app, Procreate as their vehicle for such attempts. The painting abilities of Procrerate are unparalleled, allowing the artist, painting on Apple's versatile tablet, to use the digital outline drawing as the base of digitally painted shades. The result is similar to the traditional watercolor representations of such applauded artists/epigraphers as Howard Carter and Nina de Garis Davies.

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