Category Archives: Figure Studies

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.

Figure Drawing April 8, 2019

Tonight, one of our regulars, Lisa, the lady with glasses.

A few turned out well tonight, or shall I say, more keepers than last week. One more week of jet-lag under may belt. My feet were less numb, my body, in general, more responsive. Below, three fifteen minute and four four minute poses.

Of the three fifteen minute poses, the spotlighted one is my favorite. This one is interesting (I think) because it includes five different colors: charcoal black for laying in the figure, pastel yellow and pink for the highlights, sienna to accent the warm bodily midtones, and umber for the shadows. Not bad for fifteen minutes. If I had had a few more, I would have added in some white highlights. Can’t do everything.

Conté pencil and crayon on tinted pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Four four minute poses. Charcoal on toned sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm. or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

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Figure Drawing April 1, 2019

After a long hiatus, I was delighted to finally return to Bruno’s studio to do some figure drawing. The model, Arne, was a good one, choosing interesting, creative poses. Below are three 15 minute poses and 4 four minute poses. I was happy with the four minute poses, especially those that happened with a firm and decisive stroke.

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

Four minute poses. Charcoal on toned sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm. or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Figure Drawing, October 15, 2018

The model tonight was a regular, but one I personally had not seen in awhile. In the interim a brunette became a blonde. She’s a good model, with lots of nice tattoos.

Anyway, a good night. I was reminded while drawing of footage I had seen recently of surfers attempting a 25 foot wave off the coast of Portugal. They insisted that the only way to attempt something so massive was to become one with the ocean: that when that sense of oneness slipped away, things tended to go wrong.

I would say that the same is true with figure drawing (only it’s much less dangerous). Feeling connected to the model, the chalk, the paper and what is happening on it, the music, the other people in the room: it’s all one experience which, most especially when I forget myself, tends to go well. So, for me, drawing is not about taking credit, rather its about getting the me out of the way and letting experience itself speak.

Here below five fifteen minute poses. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in. Conté crayon touched up with conté pencil on tinted Canson pastel drawing paper.

Three four minute poses. 35 x 50 cm. or 13.75 x 19.75 in. Black charcoal on tinted sketching paper.

Figure Drawing, October 2, 2018

The model tonight was a large, overweight woman. I find these kinds of bodies really exciting to draw. There is a massive quality to the form, weighted, earthy, the groundedness stimulates the muladhara chakra. So here below, the evening’s catch.

On the fifteen minute poses, I think the most successful are those in which I had the time to add in a few touches of extreme highlight. These white highlights do not need to be many, but they function in important ways to set the dynamic range. But these extreme highlights can only be correctly placed after I have already set the figure and begun to suggest some of the chromatic values on the toned paper: there is not always enough time for all that in fifteen minutes.

Four fifteen minutes poses: Conté crayon on toned Canson pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm. Or 13 x 19.75 in.

Three four minute studies: Black charcoal on tinted sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm. or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Figure Drawing, September 24, 2018

Our model tonight, Lisa. She is one of our regulars. Turns out, she works as a nurse and the days that she models for us are long days since she has to get up at 4:30 to get to work(!). We had a nice chat at the break as she puffed on her electronic cigarette. Here below a few fifteen minute poses and some four minute ones, too.

Fifteen minute poses.Conte crayon on tinted Canson pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm. or 13 x 19.75 in.

Four minute poses. Black charcoal on tinted sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm. or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

 

Figure Drawing, September 17, 2018

Tonight, with Eva, one of our regulars, the Indian girl (whose skin color I find challenging). But this time, she had a more challenging night than I and was a little dizzy during some of her poses. So we all had to slow down and adjust, to accommodate her situation. It’s just like that sometimes. We are no slave drivers (thankfully so). And yet some figure drawing session organizers can be more stern and unforgiving. But certainly not Bruno. So we had a nice chat at the break as she gobbled down a quick snack to help balance her energies. Hope you feel better, Eva!

Two fifteen minute poses. Conté crayon on tinted Canson pastel drawing paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Three four minute studies. Black charcoal on tinted sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Figure Drawing, September 3, 2018

The model tonight was fantastic. The second time I remember drawing him. He’s really good because he seems to know intuitively what to do. However, even though the model can be fantastic and I resonate with him/her, I can still have a mediocre evening. Tonight was that way, principally, I think due to my own state, as I was not feeling very well. Even in such cases, it’s always good to go out and try, and see what happens.

Two fifteen minute poses. Conté crayon on Canson tinted pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Four four minute sketches. Charcoal on tinted sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.