Wednesday, January 14, 2015

LIFE DRAWING: Sol Art Gallery - Charcoal

So last year I spent a good few months plating around with some new materials, and this year I want to select the ones I liked best and develop my technique with these. The one I see most potential in is charcoal. It allows for really loose drawings, but also has really nice texture and different ways to work tone into my drawings. Tone is something I haven't really explored much.

As usual I post up most or all of my drawings from the session, and I'll try to elaborate a bit on what I like/dislike about certain drawings.

First up a bunch of 1 minute warm ups:

I don't really use charcoal for quickies, so this were probably more focussed on playing with the medium instead of focussing on getting a gesture on the page. On a couple I started with the side of the charcoal stick and others I used the stick as a really clumsy pencil:

The following 3 were the ones I like the most, I really liked the tonal work on the drawing below. Leaving line out really works well to suggest light.

What I would do to get better results on 1 minute gestures with charcoal is to just do lots of experimentation at home working from photo reference or sites like posemaniacs that have a 1 minute timer.

Below 5 minute poses...I drew this A4 sized, which gave me a lot of time to get a finished look:

As we got more time on the poses I switched to A3, which I kind of regret doing, filling up double the size of an A4 kind of takes twice as long. So it might be better to just work small which allows you more time to get a good figure on the page and then have plenty of time to get the tonal work in there. The drawing below would've been completed in 10 minutes, but somebody's phone went off so the model quit the pose early...aarrrghhh :P

Okay...the drawing below is definitely one I would never put in a portfolio or even show to anybody. The figure work is just awkward as hell. BUT...I do really like this drawing because I tried to put some character in the figure, I also managed to get detail in that face using a stick with a  thickness that's half her head's size. The one next to that was also taking a bad turn, I didn't have an eraser so I just flipped the page and did a quick version (below that).

Funny that with more time, I have less information on a time. Two main reasons for that:
- I worked on A3
- In both drawings below I started with the head...which is always a bad idea...I keep doing it but I think you either draw the figure and put time into the face if you have time left OR just make a decision to focus on the head and do a portrait study.

And finally a pose where I put too much charcoal down on the drawing...reminder to myself to bring an eraser next week, so I did a quick 2 minute one at the end which is actually better than the long one(both A3).

Anyway, I probably won't put down as much text next time, but this is always my inner dialogue when reviewing my work. I then hang up the drawings where I did something new and fresh that I'd like to explore more. Next week, more charcoal!

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