Tag Archives: drawing the figure with pastels and conté crayon

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.