24 March 2009
Head Drawings - Winter 2009
The sketches in today’s post are from a head drawing class I just completed, taught by Meadow Gist. Each portrait was drawn from life and took about 2 hours using a Conte 1710 B charcoal pencil on smooth newsprint (24in x 18in). After getting them home, I usually worked on them a bit more, looking for ways to improve the next one.
In the head drawing class this term, I found myself focusing most on getting the proportions right, unifying values on the light and dark sides, and adding convincing halftones. I like what Juliette Aristides says about halftones in her book The Classical Drawing Atelier: "The illusion of form is the domain of the halftones. The shadows can be simplified and unified, as to some degree can the lights, but the halftones must be gradated in order for the image to read as a turning form.” Sounds so simple.
I also like William Maughan's related advice from The Artist's Complete Guide to Drawing the Head: "...all shadows begin as form-shadows and end as cast-shadows, falling away from the light." A good drawing mantra.
I plan to post more portraits after each term to check for progress.