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.

10 comments:

  1. This work just blows me away, maybe one day I will give this a try, but it's out of my league at the moment, can't wait to see more, thanks for your comments on my blog Candace.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Grahame, Thanks for the kind words. Your mastery of graphite tells me you'd probably also do incredible things with charcoal.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Candace, I really love the top left drawing and I must admit I'm very tempted to have a go at something similar......

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Grahame, Really happy to hear you are tempted to try the charcoal. From looking at your work, I think you’d be a natural at it and really enjoy it. A couple of tips that you can take or leave…try to get the Conte Pierre Noire 1710 pencils. They are much easier to use than vine charcoal, and easier to finesse and corrected than some other types of compressed charcoal. I usually sharpen them with a razor blade and sand paper to get a lance-style tip about 1 inch long. And start out working on a smooth surface. With a surface that has a lot of tooth, it can be very difficult to get the charcoal up if you want to erase. Would love to see what you come up with if you decide to give it a try. Best regards, Candace

    ReplyDelete
  5. Pencils bought, just need to find the right subject for my first attempt!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Candace, would you mind if I attempted to draw the top left head drawing? i'll understand if you preffered that I didn't. Grahame

    ReplyDelete
  7. Grahame, Thanks for asking. Please do. Let me know what you think.

    ReplyDelete
  8. hi Candace!! i´ve been a little bit dissapear but iam here again... wow!! there are a very good jobs!! really i like very much your style!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for your nice comment Candace, I saw you ... you are wonderful drawings bravissima and I am proud to know. I continue to follow your blog and I hope to have you among my readers.
    Hello see you soon!
    Gianlucio

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Candace, its my first visit to your blog and its a pleasure to be here..Beautiful creation. Will be back to see more of our work. BTW I have started a new blog dedicated to my sketch work — Art on Sketchbook

    ReplyDelete