In 2011 I was lucky enough to find a regular figure drawing studio session here in Bruges. Bruno cracks up the jazz and off we go with short or long poses. The four minute poses are great for capturing the gesture quickly and decisively; I usually use cheap tinted sketch paper with a stick of charcoal. The fifteen minute poses allow for more refinement; I usually use toned charcoal or pastel paper, with conté crayon and/or pastel chalks.
The model tonight was a new (to me) guy: Frank. Wow! Amazing! Very muscular, very athletic poses, a real Mars-bar with reddish hair and fair skin (playful and silly too). Big head proportionally – yet not out of proportion. A pleasure to draw. The four minute gesture poses really made my day. During the fifteen minute studies, I got a bit overwhelmed by my warm-toned pastels of a warm subject on that warm paper. Luckily, a few made the grade.
Black charcoal touched up with conté crayon. 32.5 x 50 cm. Or 13 x 19.75 in.
Five gesture studies. Black charcoal on tinted sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm. or 13.75 x 19.75 in.
Tonight we had Ina, originally from South America, so Spanish speaking. She is together with a Belgian man with whom they have two children. But the curious thing about her is that she, husband and two children took off from here about two years ago to live on a sailboat and sail around the world. Well, she’s back now. The sailing adventure did not go exactly as planned. 😉 But they are still free spiriting it around Europe living in a camper van and sailing a few months out of the year. So much for the story, here are a few drawings from the evening.
Four fifteen minute studies. Conté crayon and pencil on tinted pastel paper. 32.7 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.
Two four minute gesture drawings. Charcoal on brown tinted sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm. or 13.75 x 19.75.
Tonight we had Eva again. One of our more regular models. I find her challenging because her skin tones and hair tones both veer towards the cool range chromatically, and for me, drawing the figure is all about creating warmth on the paper.
Tonight (as last week) I experimented with using basic charcoal on the 15 minute poses to very lightly sketch in the figure on the paper first. The point for me experientially is the tactile experience of charcoal on paper. It conveys far more sensation, creating a sort of virtuous (tactile) circle. Once the circle is warm – and the figure has started to emerge – do I segue into the pastels: conté pencils or crayons. Don’t get me wrong, they are tactile, too, just not as intense feeling-wise as plain ol’ charcoal.
Below four fifteen minute poses. Conte crayons and conté pencil on toned pastel paper. 32.7 x 50 cm or 13 x 19 3/4 in.
Below three four minute poses. Charcoal on brown tinted sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm. or 13.75 x 19.75 in.
Last night was one of my favorite models, Hub. He is a dancer by profession so his poses are full of movement: he knows how to create interesting poses.
Attached here are four of the fifteen minute studies. I have been experimenting since last December or so with more color in my pastels. I use a variety of pastel-y skin tones, which augment the siennas and browns I have already been using for years. In addition, I have discovered umber, which is actually an “ugly” color, but fantastic for the shadows on a figure. Who knew?
These three toned drawings below plus the one in the spotlight above are 15 minute studies. Conté pencil highlighted with conté crayon on pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19 3/4 in.
Two of the four minutes gesture drawings. 35 x 50 cm. or 13 3/4 x 19 3/4 in.
Tonight we had Lisa as our model. She’s one of our regulars, distinctive by her glasses (which, for the most part, I did not include tonight). She also has a distinctive body: thin in her upper torso but large, thick buttocks and thighs.
Here below three fifteen minute studies. I’m still experimenting with pastel chalks for the highlighted skin tones. Conté pencil highlighted with conté crayon on pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19 3/4 in.
Two four minute studies. Charcoal on toned sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm. or 13 3/4 x 19 3/4 in.
This model is one of the regulars but who I personally haven’t seen in awhile.
She doesn’t tend toward over-athletic poses but holds whatever pose she does take rather well. Tonight she had a little difficulty for I become sad (Bruno always checks with them) when we see a model begin to shake 10 minutes into a pose, as they come to realize the difficulty of what seemed to be so simple.
Four fifteen minute poses. Still experimenting with pastel highlights, using warm sepia or brown for the shadows. Conte crayon and/or pencil on toned pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19 3/4 in.
Two four minute gesture poses. Charcoal on brown tinted sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm. or 13 3/4 x 19 3/4 in.