first figure drawings of the new year

01/06/2013 § Leave a comment

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2 and 5 minute poses

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2 and 5 minute poses

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2 and 5 minutes

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5 minutes

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10 minutes

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10 minutes

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20 minutes

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20 minutes

I have some thoughts about my life drawing practice for the new year. One thing I’d like to expand on is the use of other tools besides my favorite charcoals. Wet media can be tough because you need a bit of space to lay out wet papers and to have the patience to wait for those papers to dry. I love the immediacy of charcoal. I’m very comfortable with it for this kind of drawing situation. You can cover a lot of space quickly, which is great when you have a tight time constraint. If I have more than a few minutes, I mass out shadows first with vine or willow charcoal and go back for line or darker shadow with compressed charcoal. With pencils or pen and ink, I tend to spend my time in line and detail a lot sooner than I probably should, so I get caught up in minutia and squander the pose time, rarely recording as much information as I should. So my time management with other media is something I can probably work on redeveloping.

I use a spiral-bound sketchbook dedicated just to charcoal use and only draw on the right-hand pages. Charcoal smears without fixative, so drawing on the back side of pages is just a bad idea. I’ve fallen into this habit of overlapping my gesture drawings on the same page to save paper. That has resulted in a few happy accidents and has contributed to the overcoming of some fears that I have. Sometimes I fear a blank page. Sometimes I am overflowing with self-doubt about how good my drawings are. All this ends up being thwarted because layering the figures adds potential for more visual interest, hopefully transcending what is initially just an exercise.

I tend to work on more than one page during the short poses. I’ll draw a few on one sheet, start another, then I’ll get a pose that may fit better in the space of the first sheet so I’ll pull it out and work back into it. The place I go drawing can get pretty crowded during the winter with migratory residents, tourists, snowbirds, whatever you want to call them. Again, I’m working in one sketchbook so it doesn’t take up a lot of space. If I worked wet, I’d have to pull pages out of the book to dry or use more than one book at once. So overlapping figures with wet media, which is something I’m just not comfortable with anyway, coupled with the fact that there may not be much space for drying as I move between pages is a bit of a challenge for me. Maybe how I work will change because if it. The drawings will most definitely change, I’m sure.

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