Tag Archives: charcoal

Portrait Course, lesson # 24

21 Mar

This time I wanted to draw 4 portraits from different perspectives, so I could experience the problems with each perspective and possibly find out how to solve those. Normally we get 6 hours to draw a model. Now I took 30 minutes, effectively drawing 12 times as fast as my peers. As to be expected, each drawing was more of a sketch. The 3/4 view was by far the hardest to do.

Portrait Course 2011-03-21 # 1

Portrait Course 2011-03-21 # 2

Portrait Course 2011-03-21 # 3

Portrait Course 2011-03-21 # 4

I noticed that I need to get closer to the model. I let my fellow student push me to the back of the class. No more, I say.

Portrait Course, lesson # 22

21 Feb

Portrait Course 2011-02-21 # 11
1. I didn’t have my glasses with me, so this part was not too accurate. Luckily, during the break I was able to get back home to get my glasses.

Portrait Course 2011-02-21 # 22
2. As usually happens, my fellow artists get chatty and I loose concentration. That’s why there are some things I would do differently next time.

I don’t go to portrait course for pretty pictures, but to learn how to draw portraits better. Mistakes and being distracted (what also may happen if you have a model for yourself) is all part of the game.

Portrait course, lesson # 19

31 Jan

We had the same model as last time, and I made sure I was on time and had a good spot close to the model and from the front (more or less). Often I’m late and have to make do with a spot in the back, at an angle, and squinting a lot (yeah, I need glasses).

Portrait Course 2011-01-31 # 11
The initial sketch, to get the features at the correct positions and size. The instructor was more sure about this intermediate step than I was. And indeed, I found a couple of ones the instructor hadn’t noticed at a quick glance (look at the “manly” neck).

Portrait Course 2011-01-31 # 22
Shading with Conté pencil and charcoal. Not much correction by the instructor was needed. I wish I had more time for the hairdo, but there wasn’t any.

Portrait course, lesson # 18

24 Jan

We had the same model as in lesson # 5. You see, models are hard to get, so we take what we get.

Portrait Course 2011-01-24 # 11
1. Initial sketch, which was pretty much spot on.

Portrait Course 2011-01-24 # 22
2. After doing the outline in Conté pencil, the shading was done using charcoal.

After 13 lessons I clearly made a huge leap in drawing skill, and still I don’t think I could earn my living from it. This simply means I have to work even harder to get to the next level.

Portrait course, lesson # 17

17 Jan

I wanted to try another approach, because I keep getting stuck on structure and thought working from the inside out was good to teach myself just that. Alas, halfway through I lost concentration, which made it hard to improve on what I did a week ago. However, I could reason with myself about what I was drawing, so there was something I had learned in the meantime.

Portrait Course 2011-01-17 # 11
Initial setup. I worked from the cross between the eyes to the outside of the face (inside out).

Portrait Course 2011-01-17 # 2
Finished shading. I used charcoal for the shading, which didn’t work as well as the Conté pencil I used the previous time. I find it hard to work in layers with a stick of charcoal.

So all in all maybe not an improvement, but certainly another approach with somewhat similar result.

Portrait course, lesson # 16

10 Jan

During the two weeks of Christmas break I practiced a lot, and it showed during this lesson. I think this is another landmark in my drawing career. If I compare this with what I did the previous time, there is a world of difference. I have learned to use the black of the shadows and the value of contrast.

Portrait Course 2011-01-10 # 11
Initial sketch, which had some problems with the jaw line at the right side of the model. Luckily, the instructor pointed me to this in time.

Portrait Course 2011-01-10 # 22
The shading went surprisingly fast. At this point I saw something was wrong with the upper lip (not high enough). It’s important to step back and think about your drawing, compare with the original (the model) and look for any differences.

Portrait Course 2011-01-10 # 33
My instructor and some of the students thought this drawing had something. I couldn’t agree more. It has lots of appeal.

So there were no “mistakes”? Oh, there are enough things I could do better. The way I did the hairdo is abysmal. Nevertheless, I think I’m slowly getting to that point where I can draw what I see, instead of trying to fiddle with my drawing until it somewhat resembles the original, more by chance than intent.

And oh, I really need to go to an optician for a pair of glasses. I can hardly see the model, nor what I’m drawing. I’m almost blind, since everything is a blur.

Portrait course, lesson # 15

20 Dec

We had another model than usual, a young boy with a dark skin and a Rastafarian hairdo.

Portrait Course 2010-12-20 # 11
First initial sketch with 2B graphite pencil. Looking good.

Portrait Course 2010-12-20 # 22
Something went wrong while putting charcoal on this boy’s face. I guess I lost concentration again.