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: 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: 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:
Reference: Figure & Gesture Drawings, 3 hours
Tonight felt like a good time to add what I learned from the last post about facial expression into a figure study. The pose isn’t dramatic, but the expression of peace on her face as she gazed into the light with her hand held up gently said volumes. I aimed to stop at 60 minutes, but really got into the zone and kept going. Here’s what it looked like at 60 min:
I aimed to get good proportions and put a line where the light changes as a note to fill in later. It was a lot of putting something down and then revising until it looked right. I bought a cheap General’s charcoal pencil to see what it would do and after the tip broke a dozen times, I chunked it and went back to graphite. I like the darkness it gets, but need to find one that’s a bit less brittle.