Yesterday afternoon I went through the sketchbooks I used over the summer and photographed everything I’ve been working on, from portraits to planning to gesture drawing. It was a confidence booster to see it all together. I’ve certainly done a lot of work this year and it looks like I’m improving. 🙂
Earlier in the spring I took a drawing course that I didn’t really care much for, but it gave me an opportunity to draw a few portraits and play around with charcoal and conte.
Charcoal is a fun medium to work with but is it ever messy! I recommend wearing dark clothes or rags when working with it because it ends up everywhere. Whenever I’m around it, somehow it always ends up on my face. It’s very blendable though and can create some very realistic drawings if you’re careful with it. Because of the way I draw, it mostly ends up on the sides of my hands, smudged across the page.
I really like doing larger gestures (roughly 20″ x 24″) because they have a lot of character. With this portrait, I started out drawing her profile quite large and decided I wanted to capture more of her, so I started over again right on top of it. You can still see that face profile, faintly. Doing gesture drawings is very relaxing. A messy line is completely forgotten over other lines and I sort of “carve out” the figure, all while getting charcoal all over myself.
None of these gestures usually take very long. I don’t like to take them for more than 20 minutes, otherwise I end up with too many marks on the page and I get fiddly with details, which is not the point of this exercise. This one was very quick and dirty but it has some charm to it. Love the sun glasses.
During the summer, if I was strapped for time or feeling frustrated I would do a quick sketch of my surroundings to try and work through the art block. As with the gestures, these were more meant to relax my muscles and get me more in the mood to draw than to be a serious study. The more often I do these, the quicker I warm up and the more detail I’m able to take in. There are so many things to draw all around us every day!
After I finished going through my sketchbooks last night I got started on another oil painting, this time on masonite: a study of lines, shapes and typography. I’ve already decided on the title: “Assessing Your Personality”. Tim pitched the idea of painting a pile of books that explain what’s going on in his head right now; he’s trying to balance electrical engineering, photography, guitar and cooking and believe me, he’s doing a great job. Here’s the under painting all ready for some color!
My last watercolor class and figure drawing studio are this week, so my next post (after Wednesday’s inspiration post) with be a wrap-up complete with photos. Hold onto your hats because I will finally be posting some nudes!