Finally! Wed’s drawing session was the best of the three, despite the fact that I showed up late, made a lot of noise, and generally stumbled to an available seat. I only stayed for an hour or so, but I’m a lot happier with the results than the other nights. This had to do with two things.
First of all, the model was fairly interesting to draw, both because of her natural form (interesting from line, angle, tone variance, etc. perspectives that a thin generic 20-something figure just isn’t) and because of her chosen pose (rotated shoulder, hunched back, slightly twisted torso).
Second, I had decided to use charcoal ahead of time and had prepped an 18×24 sheet of Canson classic cream, heavy weight, medium tooth drawing paper before the session with a layer of brushed charcoal powder (sfumato style, as discussed previously in blog for other projects). I work fast in charcoal no matter what the methodology I’m using, but starting out with a layer of manipulatable tone seems to have certain advantages. For one, it starts you in the middle of the tone range. This is great because when you need to make it lighter or darker, you only have half the distance to go. That helps prevent the left-over-line effects when you have to create darker shades and keeps your tone consistent. The other benefit is that you can alternate between working in line or working in shape/tone as needed. If it’s an area (like the torso) which just doesn’t have line, you just lighten or darken the right general areas and blend later for consistency. If it’s the edges between the body and the background and you want to highlight that transition, you can move to line (or not).
The two negatives here are the face and the background. I could have added in a different background later, but this is really a study piece and I don’t consider it as being particularly interesting beyone that. The face, though, disappoints me. I’ve found that, while I can do “faces”, minaturizing those details is harder for me (although, this model’s face -was- challenging in its own right). I think I have specific drawing habits and algorithms for “faces” that I unconsciously try to employ in every circumstance that just don’t work on this scale (especially with sticks of charcoal). I’ll have to work on that.
And…I still have charcoal on me after more than 24 hours, heh.