The Fence Medium Sandtoning

                 Title: The Fence                 Medium: Sandtoning                Sharafy/2008

Sandtoning is a new drawing medium/process created and  developed by Azyz Sharafy, Associate Professor, Art Department, Washburn University of Topeka, Kansas USA.

The research to develop this medium/process  started in 2006  after I completed a series of pen and ink  drawing on the topic of Evolution and Creationism. See  image below.

Design Doctror
The Design  Doctor                     Pen an Ink                        2005-6

The first attempt to use sand instead of ink was made in 2006 as shown in the image below. The results were very clumsy, clumpy and flat tonally. I simply used my hand and some crude tools and poured with no control over the flow of sand. I tried the sand painting process and still failed to get the tonality that a tonal drawing required. It was at that time I knew that I had to come up with a better process and started to experiment and research.

I worked with various tools and explored  different ways of controlling the sand. By late 2006 a new way/process came into my mind and developed. I started to explore it further  with proper experimentations ending in better results.

To perfect the process and technique it took me another six month and by 2007 the technique had evolved successfully. I could then control the even flow of the sand and achieve the various tonal range that I wanted. The Sandtoning process finally came to life.

First attempt at Sandtoning process

The first attempt at using sand to draw 2006
In sand painting, one uses  some metal tools to pour sand on to the surface or floor.  The sands are normally in one tone or one color. Unlike sand painting, in SANDTONING  one can get various ranges of values, tonal and color gradients . The main difference lies in the process where one has greater control of the sand and create the various degree of tonal gradient that is there in the value chart shown below.

Sandtoned drawings are created by controlling the sand as it is poured on to the drawing surface. Traditional artists  doing sand painting do have their tools but the result are very flat color or monotones/values. Rarely the multiple tonal  or color gradients are achieved in  the traditional process. 

Value Chart
Value Chart or Tonal effect achieved using the Sandtoning process 2007

The journey to achieve this  was not easy.  The process was not easy. It end up being very clumpy and flat.   Example of an attempt is shown  below;

Early Attempt at Sandtoning
Early  attempts at Sandtoning process 2006

Early attmepts
 Demon                           Sandtoning Early  2007

Early results were promising as the exploration of various methods were applied as seen in the above image.
Soon I was bing able to get all the tonal gradient in the process that I envisioned and perfected. See some old and new examples of drawings done in the Sandtoning  process.

Ghost Tree                            Tree 2
   Ghost Tree        Sandtoning      Sharafy 2007                                Tree 2                  Sandtoning                     Sharafy 2008

        Tower                                  Taling to a Fundamentalist
                The Tower       Sandtoning  Sharafy 2007                                 Talking to a Fundamentalist  Sandtoning   Sharafy 2009

Tornado            Sandtoning                            Sharafy        2007

Sandtoning 3D application

Works in 3D using Sandtoning

More Drawings/Art Works

Sandtoning Attempts in Color

 Pen and ink  drawings
Coming Workshops on Sandtoning

Lawrence Art Center, Lawrence Kansas

Artist contact:


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