We had a new model today and she offered wonderful and challenging poses. As with last week’s drawings, I used mainly NuPastels adding to the backgrounds with Chunky Charcoals. Working with a new model, I was a bit hesitant but managed to get a few drawings that I felt good about.
Weekly life drawing sessions are continuing in Danville, Vermont. Our two hour sessions usually consist of five or six 5-minute poses followed by several longer poses of ten to twenty-five minutes. We had ten artists working this week, a rather large group for us. Some were drawing with pencils and others with everything from water-soluble crayons to colored pencils and charcoals. My drawings were done in my usual medium, pastels. Our very experienced model provided some rather animated and challenging poses as well as more relaxed ones making for a varied session which energized everyone.
Here are my drawings in the order they were done.
This week’s drawings were done in pastels (Chunky Charcoals by Cretacolor and NuPastels by Prismacolor). The timings are indicated in the captions below each image.
My preference for “Rubenesque” models comes to the fore with this week’s drawings. I definitely prefer full figured models to thinnier ones in general. I like to try to capture a sense of volume and three-dimensionality of form and, for me, that comes more easily with “fuller” models. This week’s poses are a combination of restful and somewhat animated.
I used a combination of Chunky Charcoals by Cretacolor and NuPastels by Prismacolor for drawing media. Our usual format of drawing 4 short poses followed by longer poses was continued this week.
Short poses (5 minutes each)
Click on individual images below for full size
Normally when I’m using pastels, I start with Cretacolor’s Chunky Charcoals and then add extra color with NuPastels. I wanted to have a “change of pace” so this week I started with the NuPastels. They are narrower sticks and have a slightly different feel. For the short poses, in particular, they work up easily using the side of the square stick both for line work and for shading. Another advantage in using the NuPastels is that they produce a bit less dust. Normally when I start with the Chunky Charcoals, by the time the first half-hour of the session is done, I have quite lot of dust on the easel and on the floor (I do use a drop cloth to collect the dust). So it was nice to have a bit less of a mess to start with. We started with our usual pattern of four short (5 minute) poses followed by the longer poses of 15 to 25 minutes each.
Short poses (five minutes each)
Click on the small images below to see at full size
I have been spending a great deal of time working with and posting the results of my iPad digital artwork. It has been a long time since I worked with my favorite medium for life drawing, pastels. I finally got back to using them yesterday at the local life drawing group. After working on the relatively small format of the iPad (I use the 9.7 inch version), it felt good to get back to pastels and real paper measuring 18″ x 24″. But I must say that it was a bit of a struggle. Having worked in the digital medium for the last two and a half months, it was something of a shock, like being in a foreign country speaking a somewhat rusty language!
I find that the medium I’m working with tends to dictate certain elements of the style of the finished work. If I’m doing block prints, the carving of the block creates a certain angular look. With pen and ink there is a different feeling, more line oriented and with pen and ink & watercolor, yet again a different result. Using the pastels for life drawing, holding the pastel stick along its length, I use broad swatches of color and bold line (especially in the shorter poses). This is a more “physical” kind of drawing for me and I missed doing it so it felt good to get back to. It will take a while to feel fully comfortable drawing with pastels again but I enjoyed rekindling the experience of using them.
I’m continuing to work with the new iPad and Procreate app. In preparation for using these for actual life drawing, I’ve been using photos rather than live models to learn the basics of Procreate. This app has a tremendous variety of tools to mimic traditional drawing and painting media. There are “brushes” for doing pencil drawing, pastel drawing, painting in oil, watercolor etc., etc. It does an amazing job of capturing the essence of the various traditional tools for creating art.
Since most of my recent work in life drawing has consisted of pastel and pencil drawing, I’ve concentrated on learning those tools in Procreate. I’ll try to get into the painting tools at a later time (there’s just so much to learn and it will take a lot of practice). I’m posting here some of my latest efforts of what might be called “faux pastels”.
Some of these drawings start with a broad amorphous quick mass of color that roughly suggests the overall shape of the pose. Then I gradually use more fine tools (like pencil) to outline and define limbs, torso and head. More color is added and a combination of variably sized tools eventually begin to define both final color and values (light and dark areas).
Other drawings start with a rough pencil sketch to capture the “gesture” of the pose and then adding color over that, refining the drawing along the way until it is finished.
Well, this week I was back to using pastels and chunky charcoals for life drawing. It’s been several weeks since I used pastels (I’ve been doing pencil and ballpoint pen drawings) so I was a bit rusty. We had the same Rubenesque model as last week so you might want to compare the drawings done in different mediums from each week.
I was very dissatisfied with my drawings while at the session but looking at them the next day, they didn’t look quite as bad. This often happens; I get so involved with the process of drawing, especially with time constraints, that I become overly critical. Viewing the drawings the next day is almost like looking at someone else’s work because then I’m detached from the creative process and, hopefully, can see them more objectively.
I’m trying to include at least a suggestion of facial features, something I’ve shied away from in the past due to limited time for drawing details. Occasionally I’m able to even hint at a likeness of the model. That was achieved on only one or two of these latest drawings.
I was back to using pastels for the life drawings this week. As usual, I started out with Cretacolor’s Chunky Charcoals. On the longer poses, I’ve added more brilliant colors with several blues, reds and greens from Prismacolor NuPastels.
After using pencil and ballpoint pen for the last couple of weeks, I decided to go back to my favorite medium for life drawing; pastels. It may be of interest that last week’s model and this week’s are one and the same. I feel that the medium often dictates the style of drawing. You might find it of interest to compare last week’s drawings and this week’s. There are, of course, different poses but it’s the same model being drawn and the handling of the figure is quite different between the two styles.