Friday, December 30, 2011
These are three 15-minute studies above, and a 25-minute one below. The top three are done with a lighter dusting of powdered charcoal on 18 x 24" sheets of Canson Sketch paper, using a hard Nobel compressed charcoal stick.
The lowest one uses the same materials on a 22 x 30" sheet of 90 lb Maidstone paper. The softer, more velvety top fibers of the Maidstone sheet tended to trap the powdered charcoal particles right where they fell, and resisted any easy spreading. I was using a salt shaker I'd picked up at the dollar store to distribute the charcoal, but it was still quite clumpy on landing, I was finding.
On the second from the top, I did a bit of erasure, redrawing and light finger-smudging after the fact.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
These are 10-minute studies, done with hard Nobel compressed charcoal on 18 x 24" sheets Canson Sketch paper. The charcoal ground does afford a subtly graduated random facror underneath the more direct lines and shading of P- 's figure.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
On the Sunday night, I was just wrapping up the cleanup of the TSA's Open House, so I was a little rusty and more muscle over-worked than usual. P- was working. I was interested to see how an underlayer of powdered charcoal might affect the drawing, so I had dusted a number of sheets just prior to the session's start.
The first three 1-minute studies and the head on the left are Progresso woodless pencil crayon on 18 x 24" sheets of bond paper. The extra charcoal powder did not render the smooth paper any more toothy, as I had hoped it might. The head study on the right is hard U-Art woodless charcoal pencil, which gave a better contrast, and meshed more with the powdered charcoal.
The heavier dusting of charcoal in the second study down and the lowest one does reveal some of the web pattern of the paper's manufacture, which isn't something I welcome.The head studies are 5 minutes each.
Z- brought an interesting article on life drawing to my attention:
Check it out.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
These are 15-minute studies. All are done with hard compressed Nobel woodless charcoal. The top one is on 18 x 24" Canson Sketch paper. The next one down and the lowest one are on 21 x 30" sheets of Strathmore paper. The second one from the bottom is on a 20 x 26" sheet of 90 lb. Maidstone paper.
Monday, December 26, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
I came back later for the evening session. A- , who was working on the Monday night, happened to be doing this one as well. These are 1-minute studies, done with Progresso woodless pencil crayon on 18 x 24" sheets of bond paper.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
I stayed for the afternoon, which was one 3-hour pose. The upper study was tow hours, using Nobel hard compressed charcoal on a 22 x 30" sheet of Maidstone paper. The lower one is a 25-minute study, same charcoal on an 18 x 24" sheet of Canson Sketch paper.
The monitor of the session tried setting things up to exploit the daylight, with a little incandescent fill to help. but it led to the lighting shifting quite radically over the afternoon. By the time I had reconciled the longer study, the outside light was dying off, so the shorter study (which is from a slightly different position, ) was almost all lit with one incandescent light. That's the trouble with daylight, unless one has north-facing skylights; the sun swings around noticeably from hour to hour.
I liked the longer study, and was exploring what sort of background to use. One idea I have been exploring a bit lately is having two ground-plane edges meeting a vertical in the background, to infer a 2-point perspective meeting of X,Y and Z axes. The actual space was dark, but I wanted something lighter. To break up the big negative spaces, I tried a Richard Diebenkorn-style set of criss-crossing lines, pushed out close to the edges - so they would demarcate the limits of the picture field, and make the big open spaces of the top half into more distinct zones of negative space. I kind of like what that did.
The shorter study benefited from the hours of warm-up I'd done up to then.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
On the Sunday morning, I got in for part of the drawing session at the TSA. M- was working, and I hadn't drawn her for a long time. These are a 10-minute study above, and two 15-minute ones below.
The top one is hard compressed U-art charcoal on bond paper, the middle one is hard Nobel charcoal on Canson Sketch paper, while the bottom one is medium Nobel charcoal on the Canson paper. All are on 18 x 24" sheets.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
These are a 15-minute study above, and two 20-minute ones of K - below.
All are done with Nobel hard compressed charcoal on 18 x 24" sheets of Canson Sketch paper.
I do have a tendency to get brief crushes on new materials if they show promise. During that time a part of me thinks "maybe this is the `magic bullet' material that will perfectly realise my desired shading and mark-making. At that point I'm only noticing the things that the material does that I like. Gradually I begin to notice where the limitations of a given drawing material or paper are.
A component of how one handles a material or paper is familiarity. I find it takes time to achieve the muscle memory of just what touch and pressure works best with any given combination, and it is only after some practice that I can have the trust to work most freely with a chosen combination of paper and drawing materials. I've probably drawn upwards of ten thousand studies on newsprint sheets in my life, so it is very much a known quantity. When I find a paper or drawing material with potential, I try to give myself a stretch of time without judgment, just seeing how it behaves, to resist the temptation to think while working, "Is this working really well? How about now? And now?'. Unless I don't like the feel or texture at all, it's worth doing a hundred or two studies, and then seeing how it worked out.
Over the last year, I've been working through a number of different possibilities. I suspect that, barring some magic material, it is in the combination of a couple of materials that a given paper's potential can be best exploited.
In 2009, virtually everything posted here was Conte crayon on newsprint.
In 2010, I started exploring Japanese paper and generic cartridge paper, with super-soft graphite, and Prismacolor drawing sticks
This year, the papers tried have been: more Japanese papers, Canson Sketch, generic bond paper, a roll of Strathmore 300 series acid free paper, and Maidstone 90 lb acid-free paper, plus a few odds and ends of other Canson papers.
Materials tried have been- U-Art woodless charcoal sticks,
Royal `super black' sketching sticks, Nobel woodless charcoal sticks, Progresso woodless pencil crayon, willow charcoal and powdered charcoal.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
I was particularly happy with the top study here - it had an above-average fluidity and confidence of handling, to my mind.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Above are a 10-minute and two 15-minute studies. The lowest one is a 20-minute study. All are done with Nobel hard compressed charcoal. The upper three are on 18 x 24" sheets of Canson Sketch paper, and the bottom one is on a 22 x 30" sheet of 90 lb Maidstone paper