Life Drawings / March 27

Continuing along the lines of the last few weeks, I used my trusty pastels this week at the life drawing group. Below is a somewhat detailed description of my working materials as I described them last August on this blog.

The materials that I use for these drawings usually consist of the following items. Dick Blick sells a very versatile paper (Blick White Sulphite Drawing Paper) in various sizes and weights that is quite reasonably priced when purchased in quantity. I use the 18″ x 24″ size. For the drawings, I normally start with Chunky Charcoals by Cretacolor. They are quite large, 5/8″ (16 mm) thick, and 3-3/8″ (86 mm) long, and I usually break the sticks in half to work with them. They are available in eleven subdued colors. What’s really nice about these sticks is that they can be used either on end to make line drawings or using the long side for broad tonal marks. I will often additionally use NuPastel sticks (available in many more colors than the Chunky Charcoals) to enhance the colors of the final drawing.

My working method is to stand before a fairly sturdy wooden easel that has a shelf for holding the art materials. On that shelf I put the Chunky Charcoals and NuPastels. I have a small folding table to my right that holds extra colors along with other items I might need (masking tape and large clips to hold the paper against the drawing board). The drawing board is placed on the easel at an almost completely vertical angle. I like to stand at the easel because it allows me to move away easily from the drawing. This is important because it gives a more objective view of the current work from a bit of a distance. Standing also allows for making broader marks on the paper. I can draw “from the shoulder” with longer strokes on the fairly large (18″ x 24″) paper.

Short poses (five minutes each)

Click on individual images below to see at larger size

Longer poses (about 20 minutes each)

Author: Jeff Gold

I'm a retired musician (oboist) now living in Vermont and exploring various avenues of art, urban sketching, life drawing, block printing and digital abstractions.

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