Category Archives: Drawings

I prefer to use pencil, pastel or conte crayon on toned paper. A toned paper is a middle ground, a tabula rasa so to speak, on which a few strokes of light or dark or both can serve to stimulate the imagination.

Figure Drawing, October 14, 2019

Last night our model was Soeren, one of our regulars. He’s really long and lanky. You can’t apply “normal” proportionalities to his figure, for he has a large and bony head, also big feet and hands, so he presents a particular kind of challenge. Last night I was lucky to snag a few keepers from the longer poses and also to find some of the gesture drawings interesting enough to keep.

Also, I had an interesting experience tonight of dropping my kneaded eraser in the middle of the sepia colored paper drawing. Couldn’t find it. Had to make a choice: continue without my trusted third hand or give up on completing the drawing? So I let go of my safety net and found my eraser afterwards. And the drawing worked out anyway. 🙂

Two fifteen minute figure drawings.

Soeren, folded. Conté crayon on tinted Canson paper, 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Soeren, Conté crayon on tinted Canson paper, 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Five four minute figure studies.

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Figure Drawing, September 30, 2019

I love fat chicks. Maybe it’s politically incorrect to say so. So OK, sue me. But it’s only because they are so satisfying to draw! It’s like sitting down for a good chin wag with an elephant. Dipping your hands into the earth and feeling the earth give back to you all its goodness. Skinny models are great too, especially for gesture, but with elephants it’s all about the muladhara chakra. A deep grounding.

So last night we had a wonderful “fat chick”, with a great sense of humor. She has modeled for us before, sometimes with black wings and stockings. Last night she brought white wings and a white blouse (!). The white wings quickly broke so we reverted to the blouse. Fine with me.

Below are four fifteen minute studies. Conté pencil and crayon on Canson pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

  

And two four minutes gestures drawings. Black charcoal on sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

 

Figure Drawing, September 23, 2019

The model tonight was a regular but one I have not seen for awhile. She’s a good model who takes interesting poses and holds them well. I had more success drawing her on the sepia toned paper than on the gris fumé. That’s how it goes sometimes.

What’s interesting in the spotlighted drawing here is that it is similar to the other one on sepia paper – but different: both were fifteen minute poses; in both the figure was well placed in the center of the page; was traced out in umber; and both had the flesh toned highlights of yellow and peach. But in the case of the highlighted one I had a minute extra to add some deeper shadows and extreme highlights. It really works. It pops.

Three fifteen minute poses. Conté pencil and crayon on Canson pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Two four minute gesture drawings. Black charcoal on tinted sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm or 13.5 x 19.75 in.

Figure Drawing September 16, 2019

We had a new model tonight – which is to say this was her first time modeling for a figure drawing session. She did very well: took interesting poses and held them; plus she had a muscular body that was interesting to draw. For some reason I had more success with the longer poses tonight.I like the spotlighted one because she arched her back for that and I was able to capture some aspect of the arch. Plus I had enough time to add a few white highlights – which always makes the drawing pop.

Here 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 one four minute gesture drawing. Black charcoal on tinted sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Figure Drawing, September 9, 2019

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.

Figure Drawing September 2, 2019

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.

 

Figure Drawing, August 19, 2019

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.