I’ve been trying out working in charcoal during the last month. In the continued spirit of full exposure , here are my efforts of the last few weeks. As ever in chronological order and unedited.
001 Working from a Midtone
This involves laying an even midtone grey all over, then working ‘up’ to the lightest vales with a rubber and down into the shadows with more charcoal. As ever my drawing group started out with short poses, 5 x 2 minute poses
And as I got to the 10 minute poses, I started to feel more relaxed. I’d also figured out that working from a gentler midtone grey helped.
And by the time we got to the 15 minute poses, I was enjoying working with charcoal – trying out different marks and starting to get a feel for things.
And my penultimate drawing someone very kindly mentioned it reminded them of ‘Naked Man, Back View’ by Lucian Freud.
And by the last pose another, 15-20 minute pose, I was definitely feeling frazzled. I felt like I was having a real fight with this pose.
002 Gesture Practice
I’ve been finding out more about ‘gesture lines’ in life drawing. The big movement that characterises a pose. An almost instinctive feeling for how a body occupies space. Apparently a great exercise for getting a feel of this is drawing from 30 second poses by a model.
Lacking my own model, I improvised with an old Evening Standard magazine. As I turned each page, without picking and choosing, I tried to draw the gesture line for each figure I encountered.
<Pictures coming soon>
003 More charcoal
Trying out these gesture lines with a living, breathing model. Starting out with short poses, 5 x 2 minutes and 3 x 5 minutes.
Then on to the 10 minute poses, I really enjoyed this first one.
But then, I think inspired by the big sweep of charcoal on the right in the sketch above, I decided to switch to working from a mid tone ground. I learnt, switching approaches mid-session is not the best idea. My brain just couldn’t find it’s way into this, as witnessed below …
So with the remaining longer poses, I stuck to exploring the gesture approach, the groove my brain was already following