Ref: Google, Pinterest board “choonhachat”; black/white charcoal, mechanical pencil, Prismacolor Terra Cotta pencil.
I’m taking a class in Schoolism.com by John Hardesty titled “Realism”. Excellent class. He discusses seeing proportions in different ways, each meathod double checking the other for accuracy. I have a long way to go, but it’s evident 90% of realism is spending the most time double checking and correcting before getting details. Also, less is more, especially around the eyes.
The first round I looked for photos taken a long time ago since they tend to have better lighting for drawing with shadows. On the second session, I found an illustrator with a great reference board on Pinterest. His name for searching is “choonhachat”. He also frequently does live drawing sessions on Instagram. He been drawing figures for years and it’s amazing to see how fast he is. His instagram is also “choonhachat”.
Ref: Croqui Cafe, Meredith Rose album; black/white charcoal on tan paper
I started a new Schoolism.com class with Johnathan Hardesty to learn to capture realism. We’re on the “blocking in” stage to gain accuracy from the start. I had trouble and I didn’t catch the likeness to Meredith, but enjoyed working through the shading stages and trying to see the figure as just large masses of shadow and light. Difficult, but worth many the million mistakes it takes to get it right. Great class so far. The subscription to that site is worth every penny.
Reference: Google images for “interesting faces”, ~2hr
I saw a video where vine charcoal was smeared across the face, then the highlights were produced with erasing. I only have compressed charcoal and I doubt it spread out as well, but it worked somewhat. Most of the time was spent trying to map the face in as accurate as possible. Still have a lot of work to do with this… Fun study!
Reference: random image from Google, ~35min.
Quick portrait on toned paper (inside of cereal box) using graphite, black and white charcoal and some terra cotta color pencil. It’s fun to try and figure out the best combination for using these. It’ll be useful for figure studies.
Reference: New Master’s Academy #34 (YouTube), ~1hr
I tried to do a study in charcoal and avoid tight lines as much as possible. It really made me pay attention to masses of light and dark and pay attention to the shadow line between lit areas of the skin of direct light and reflected light.
Reference: Random internet images, ~3 hrs
After watching a Jeff Watt’s Atelier YouTube video, I got inspired to start a random portrait. I wasn’t concerned about catching a likeness, but more about seeing the big features of the face that give expression.
Reference: Figures & Gesture Drawings, ~3hrs
Today I wanted to try a dark background just for kicks since a lot of photography is done this way. I’m not sold on it just yet. Seems almost gawdy at the moment, but maybe it’ll look better tomorrow. It does help distinguish her figure from across the room and bring out the bold, confident attitude of her pose. Next time I’ll try for the “less is more” style, possibly leaving some of the figure in just the line drawing while the area of focus is a more finished look. I’ve seen many stunning figure drawing done like this.
Here’s the progression picture:
Reference: Somewhere on the internet (can’t find it again), 2hrs
If I saw this guy squinting at me, I’d move to the other side of the road. I focused on shading planes of the face and continuing to use pencil with charcoal to get those deep dark areas.
Reference: Figure & Gesture Drawings, ~3hr
Tonight’s figure study was more about clean composition and shading than emotion. After viewing Jeremy Lipking’s nude paintings, his simplicity in design was inspiring. If you haven’t seen his works, they are amazing. Here’s his gallery link. I used white and dark charcoal over graphite.
Here’s my warm ups between 1-5min.
Reference: Figure &Gesture Drawings, ~3hrs
After studying the hands and the face and recent studies, today I chose to emphasize these in this pose. I wasn’t sure what she was expressing. At first I thought she was feeling complacent, but the more I drew her, I think she was going to seduction. In any case, the lighting was perfect to test out both white and dark charcoal pencils over a graphite base. I had thrown away the dark charcoal pencil after it kept breaking, but then today I watched a YouTube video where the exact same charcoal pencil was used to make an amazing figure drawing. I must not have been using it right. So I dug it out of the trash and found an old empty cereal box, noticing the brown cardboard inside. Good time to find it too, since I only have white sketch paper and the white charcoal would be useless. I flipped the cereal box inside out and used it for today’s drawing. Hey, artists never claim to be normal. Using the charcoal more delicately and only sharpening it when needed really helped. Here’s the progression: