The subject of my first experiment with carbon dust illustration: OU 22222, a tooth of the basilosaurid whale Zygorhiza from the Eocene Waihao Greensand of New Zealand.
The result of my experiment. While stylistically identical to my other work thanks to blending, it only took 1.5 hours to draw - one half to one third the time normally spent.
I first tried drawing a sphere, which was slightly frustrating - but I found that drawing an irregular object (such as a fossil) was actually quite a bit easier, as slight imperfections in gradient are not obvious in an object that the mind knows is not a 'perfect' object like a sphere. I tried my hand at drawing an archaeocete tooth from the Eocene of New Zealand. I tried this drawing on regular drawing paper - because there was just a slight texture, it didn't paint completely evenly and there were little white spots on the 'down stroke' side of bumps on the page. This required the use of a blender to fix it, which sort of ruined the nice gradient and made the drawing stylistically identical to my other work. Still, I am pretty happy with the result, and an unexpected finding was how damn quick the process is- this drawing only took an hour and a half to do; it's about 4" x 3", and would normally have taken about four hours to finish. I was shocked when I realized I had finished a drawing so quickly. Next time I'll use a sheet of vellum, which will have the benefit of 1) not having to use a blender and 2) being able to scratch in highlights.