30 May 2014

Portrait Sketches in Charcoal

Today I'm posting a few charcoal sketches, drawn from life in 2-3 hours.  Drawing is nice...forget color...just focus on shape, edge and value.  

For these sketches, I used both vine charcoal and Wolffs carbon pencil.  Vine charcoal produces a delicate mark, easily erased with a chamois or finger.  It's nice for the lay-in of a drawing or painting where correction is often required.  With a vine charcoal lay-in you can make major changes without leaving dark lines behind.

Once the lay-in is working, I finish my drawings with Wolffs carbon pencils.  This was the drawing medium of choice when I studied at Watts Atelier.  Carbon pencils produce a finer, more permanent mark, in contrast to the coarser, fragile mark of vine charcoal...an effective combination of drawing materials.


Rachel 18x12" Wolffs carbon pencil on newsprint


Sabrina 18x12" Wolffs carbon pencil on newsprint

This final drawing was executed entirely in vine charcoal.  A very different result from carbon pencil.  If you like this more expressive medium, carry fixative.  Use it occasionally during drawing to stabilize the layers and restore tooth.

Rosa 14x14", Vine charcoal on Strathmore 400 paper