Morning light on the Verversdijk. Created in the studio from an “en-plein-air” sketch. September 2019.
Mixed technique on board. 30 x 40 c.m. or 11 7/8 x 15 3/4 in.
Technical write up here: https://atelierartisanal.com/2019/09/09/haunted-by-hopper/
Our model tonight was Eva. One of our regulars, though I have not seen her for awhile. Racially, she comes from India though she was raised in Belgium and feels herself to be fully Flemish (or so I gather). When I draw the human figure I am interested to convey warmth (not coolness) but because of her skin and hair tonalities I find drawing her very challenging. The highlights of her hair are almost blue while the highlights of her skin tones vary from light gray to light brown.
Tonight I started out on gray charcoal paper but quickly ditched that and opted for the sepia. At least I had better results with there, though in general, I would say the more successful drawings of the evening were the four minute sketches.
Here below two fifteen minute sketches. Conté pencil and crayon on Canson pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.
Five four minute sketches. Black charcoal on tinted sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.
One of our regulars tonight: a venusian, pear-shaped girl, thick buttocks and thighs, slim upper body, pointed breasts, beautifully featured face, voluptuous thick, brunette hair. For sketching her in I decided to try out a very warm pastel chalk tonight. It is deep red, which on gray paper became almost fluorescent (!). Wow.
I’ve selected the reclining fifteen minute pose as the featured image for a couple of reasons. One, usually I groan internally when a model takes the “egg” pose because I find it so uninteresting to draw. But last night, by stretching out her arms alongside her body, one fore, one aft, the pose became quite interesting. Secondly, after sketching her out in fuchsia red with peach and antique lemon highlights, I found I still had a few minutes to add some umber shadow and white highlights. The result, I find, is interesting, almost abstract: figurative and chromatic simultaneously.
Here below are five fifteen minute poses. Conté pencil and crayon on Canson pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.
And four of the four minute gesture poses. Black charcoal on tinted sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.
Three weeks in a row with, the same model, Sooren, but never boring, because he’s really good. Why? He takes interesting poses and holds them remarkably well. He has an interesting and challenging body to draw. And he has a sweet disposition (not required for figure drawing but adds to the friendly atmosphere). Here below is the evening’s catch.
Four fifteen minute studies. Conté pencil and crayon on Canson pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in. For the longer poses I usually spend about five minutes getting the pose down on the paper using conté pencil or crayon. My lines are fairly light. Once I start to see the figure emerging there, I begin by applying swaths of pastel (and touches of color). Highlights first, then usually in the last few minutes, a few strokes to ground the weight and shadow. If I have another minute, I’ll add in white for the strongest highlights for that final punch. All four of these longer studies felt worth saving and spotlighting but I can only spotlight one, so I had to choose. As ever, thanks, Bruno (our host) and thanks, Sooren.
Six four minute studies. Black charcoal on tinted sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in. Some people approach figure drawing from the point of view of form (anatomy, skeletal, muscular). I am deeply interested in that (because I don’t want to distort – at least not intentionally) but also I have seen that over time I am just as, or even more, interested in conveying a sense of the livingness of the gesture. So if I produce a drawing that has that, I am pleased, even if the placement on the page could be better or the proportions are slightly off. Always room for improvement in that department. Nevertheless, the real fun of figure drawing is the experience itself, warming up the muladhara and the sex chakras; the results, footprints in the sand.
Our model tonight was Soren, a long lanky fellow with large hands and feet. It is always a challenge to fit all of him onto a sheet of paper, with the bodily proportions more or less correct.
Below here three fifteen minutes poses. Conté pencil and crayon on Canson pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.
And one four minute pose. Black charcoal on Canson pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.
I participated in figure drawing the night before traveling: it was a great way to pack for a trip! But of course I had no time to process the drawings until our return, so here are a few. The model was a pretty young girl, whose features I find I am attracted to draw, only sometimes successfully (the spotlighted drawing here being one of them). Otherwise, her poses are fine, not exactly inspired but hey, no complaints.
Three fifteen minute poses. Conté pencil and crayon on Canson pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.
Three four minute poses. Left to right, the first two black charcoal on tinted sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in. then for the last (since I ran out of sketching paper), black charcoal on tinted Canson pastel paper 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.
Our model tonight was one of our regulars, Soren. He’s really long and lanky which at times can be challenging just fitting all his body parts onto one page. Often I don’t try. Tonight, at least in the fifteen poses, ones he took ones that were more compressed – but not too compressed – making it possible to see where the gesture lies.
Below four fifteen minute poses. Conté pencil and crayon on Canson pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.
And four four minute gesture poses. Black charcoal on tinted sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.