Tonal range

Vine Charcoal on Newsprint and Bond.

Cool thing about this charcoal is the tonal range you can get by manipulating the marks.

It does not stick to the newsprint very well so I tried conté and then changed paper on the profile.

 

No matter what.

Felt like the flu this weekend but you got to paint , no matter what.

From Right to Left:

25min Oil on canvas. Burnt Umber on Toned BU ground.

25min Burnt Umber, White, Ochre On BU ground.

50min Full Zorn pallet on BU ground.

Just trying to learn to draw with a long hairy stick.

Practice

Practice and humility are essential for my development in art and life.

Not because I am “not good enough”. Not because “I am better than”.

Both of these states are comparative and self-defeating. I am just an artist among artists.

I went to my regular figure drawing workshop yesterday and found out that a colleague was teaching a beginning figure drawing class right after the workshop. I have never had any instruction in drawing before and it never occurred to me that I needed any. He was gracious enough to allow me to sit in on his class and I learned much in his approach.

Charcoal Portrait Stages

14×17″ Charcoal from last night at the Art League

Very similar stages of completion but after a nights sleep and about 15 more minutes of work, the one on the right looks far better.

The one on the left is how I stopped with the model last night at 8pm.

I thought it was finished but when I looked this am with fresh eyes I saw some issues I needed to address.

  • Jaw too low where it meets the chin, decrease the jowl and strengthen jaw line
  • Too much highlight on cheek and forehead. Shade and tighten up/define highlights
  • Eye too dark. Highlight and define.
  • Separate head outline from background and darken head shadow on shoulder to make the head “pop out”.

Almost

Hal -Oil on Canvas 18×24″

9-8-2016 Day One: Water main broke at the studio about 30 minutes before the session was to begin. I had asked the model to wear a black jacket or at least long sleves. Mostly to save time on the painting session. Also, the model was going to bring a canvas with him at 10×10″, this also to save time by just painting the head.

None of these things worked out in my favor. That’s life.

I shut off the water main. Selected a grey primed 18×24″ canvas and started a full length seated. Hal had some unusual scars on his arms particularly a good one on his right forearm from a dance with a plate glass window. These were all nice details anyway.

The first session lasted from 11am until 3pm with a few breaks and a snack. Hal was really a patient model and good storyteller so a good time was had by all.

The first session was blocked in to my satisfaction and I took a few photos for reference.

I picked up the brushes the next day and spent 3 solid hours lighting the face, hair and eyes.

I am about done except some background area fill and defining the weight on the left side so that his arm makes sense where it is. One more day on this one, I think.

 

Fast lines

8-23-16 Orig 1

Venetian Red and White Pastel on Toned Canson Paper 9×12″

Fast lines or plane lines. These lines which escape the subject and go into the ground of the drawing do some interesting work for you.

I didn’t invent this technique, but I was not taught it either. I observed it in auto concept drawings. It seemed like it was a way to accentuate a gentle curve and also to establish a plane in a 2-D rendering. They work well in instances like this model’s hat, to help suggest it is foreshortened, round and flat. It also helps establish that the lines on a given curved surface represent an edge of an object.

Pastel Portrait stages

Pastel color is pretty new to me. I dont know the technique to apply to these materials.

So Here is what I learned last night. I used a new sketch book with fairly cheap thin paper, maybe 150 gm with enough tooth to hold the pencil adequately but thats about it. I liad the drawing in on the first pose in 30 min. I should have not done so much shading with the soft 5B pencil because graphite is slick and other media will not stick to it. 1st mistake.

I had the soft pastels already laid out in the box as a pallate roughly divided in 2 rows by warm and cool. so I started in on the flesh tones and immediately knew it was going to take the next 1.5 hours of the session just to get enough marks on the paper. I dont like to blend (or rather, I dont know how to do it without turning the color muddy). I had a hard time making the chalk stick to the areas where the graphite was too heavy. I had to borrow some conte crayons in black and red to go back into the outlines and with something that would stick.

I took it home and scanned it. Then bumped up the contrast in PS just enough for the white to stay white and the black and brown area at the bottom of the hair to blend together. Then I took a few of my favorite PS brushes and spent the next hour tightening and highlighting eyes nose and lips.Then blending just enough on the flesh for it to still have drawing marks.The background wall I just filled with a big brush leaving the original colors. I didn’t need the marks there to tell the story.