Dignity, charcoal


I recently came across an image of a Philippine woman that left no doubt her life was difficult in ways I couldn’t possibly imagine.

Dignity (12×9) a charcoal portrait, was a challenge for me to draw – I felt every line, the power of the pin that held the neck of her top closed, and it’s tough to draw a woman who is missing her teeth.   I wondered if she was walking with her head down because it pained her to look into others’ eyes – I don’t know, but the image of her was incredibly sad.  As a woman I felt her humility, why had life treated her so harshly.

In my drawing I wanted to bring a different side to this woman than what was shown – I didn’t illustrate her mouth sagging as much as was evident and I brought in the sun’s light from the upper-right beaming down on her one side.

Can a drawing show the dignity that this woman felt or should have felt?  I can’t answer that.   Yes, this was a difficult drawing  .   .   .

DignityThe reference photograph was in color and taken by Mike Sessions of pmp.

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Thursday’s Drawing, Storm Clouds #1 – charcoal


Boy this has been late in coming, but finally I’m back on schedule to begin a new drawing project for Thursdays.  If you are new to my blog, I draw each Thursday for 1/2 hr to one-hour to keep my focus on lines and values fresh, and usually select a drawing project that takes more than one setting to complete.

Storm Clouds (9×12) is being drawn on Strathmore Bristol Vellum – for this drawing project I’ll be using charcoal as the primary medium.  To begin charcoal brick and a kneaded eraser was used.

Today the bottom 1/4 of the scene was worked on, the rest of the scene is all clouds and magnificent if I do them right.  Most will be drawn with negative drawing so I can manage the lighter values better.  A bit more will be done to the bottom quarter, but not until the cloud mass is completed.  Sorry about the quality of the image, I took this photograph in near darkness, next week I promise to have a better image to post.

Thanks for checking in, I can’t believe I’m finally back on track – although if truth be told I had a totally different scene in mind, but  .   .   .

Storm Clouds, #1

Storm Clouds, #1

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Mystic, charcoal


A certain mystery starting to show itself about this young woman as the drawing came into being .  .  . I wondered what she was staring at or thinking – whatever it was she seemed satisfied.

Mystic, a charcoal drawing (7×5) was to be a quick piece to practice eyes, lips and mouth that I worked on in December, 2014.  It became apparent that someone special revealed herself.  Material used was Strathmore paper using vine charcoal, compressed and a kneaded eraser.  Once the drawing was done, I signed it and sprayed the piece with a fixative to seal the charcoal.

I was going to post the drawing earlier, but today as I looked at her I decided to revisit her one last time, and something exciting started to happen.  A little magic came about when I swept several strokes of white and cream soft pastel down the surface of the drawing to give a bit of mystery to this young lady.  And, Mystic was born.

Please click onto the image to see a larger image.

Mystic

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Tested, charcoal


I wanted to draw something with a bit more grit and edge ~

Tested, is a freehand charcoal sketch (12×9, Strathmore paper), portrays a guy whose life took a turn that probably has put a few tests in his path.  Materials used:  charcoal vine, compressed charcoal, a kneaded eraser and round brush.

My reference was from the Wetcanvas library.  Please click onto the image for a larger size.

Tested

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Thursdays Drawing, Miss Annabelle – charcoal


I nearly forgot that it was Thursday and suppose to be drawing a new seascape – today’s drawing is Miss Annabelle that I have worked on for three days.

Drawing freehand is not easy.  This young lady was giving me a lot of problems.  Portraits are a new subject for me, so not only am I still learning how to draw w/charcoal, but getting the right angle of Annabelle’s head bent w/her eyes slightly opened (I’m not convinced and need practice) and correct proportions of her features – these were my challenges.

Miss Annabelle, a charcoal drawing is 12×9 on Strathmore paper – materials used were vine and brick soft charcoal, a kneaded eraser, small camel-hair brush and a round brush, and for fine details #4h and #3B graphite pencils.  The reference photograph used was taken by Steve MacIntyre of pmp (a fabulous photographer) of a gorgeous little girl and someone who I couldn’t possibly replicate at my level of experience.  I did take some liberty with the image to make the drawing mine.

UPDATED:  Changes were made to improve expression to more joyful (forehead wrinkles reduced by eyes, eyes slightly opened, and mouth more upturn).  Click onto image to see a larger version.

Updated and Final Version of Miss Annabelle

Updated and Final Version of Miss Annabelle

 

Original Version of Miss Annabelle

Original Version of Miss Annabelle

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Study Based off of an Original Charcoal Drawing by Nathan Fowkes


Over my December break I found a remarkable artist, Nathan Fowkes, online whose charcoal portraits are really nothing short of spectacular.  Mr. Fowkes is incredibly talented in the normal artistic sense of painting and drawing, but also as an accomplished animation artist.  I spent considerable time studying his work and then read through nearly every post that he did on his blog since 2006 http://nathanfowkes.blogspot.com/.

Nathan is gracious enough to post full-demonstrations of several of his charcoal drawings, which have been beneficial for me in gaining a better understanding of light/shadows and purposeful strokes with this medium, etc.

Here is a 12×9 charcoal study (strathmore paper) I did based off of one of Nathan’s demonstrations (you might have to dig deep into his blog postings, but you can find it on his blog link above).   The challenge for me is learning not only how to master the medium, but to do free-hand portraits as well (if you only knew – very hard for me to draw what I see).

Nathan Fowkes is definitely an artist I admire ~

Study Based off of an Original Charcoal Drawing by Nathan Fawkes

Study Based off of an Original Charcoal Drawing by Nathan Fawkes

I’m struggling on a current drawing, so it was nice to go back and see what’s possible – I needed that personal encouragement (hey sometimes we have to give to ourselves, lol).

Posted in Artists Who Inspire, Drawings | 52 Comments

Thursday’s Drawing, The Glance – charcoal


You didn’t think I’d let Thursday’s drawing to get away – oh no here is my latest .  .  .

The Glance, is a charcoal portrait drawing (12×9) on Strathmore Drawing paper – I’m fast running out of soft charcoal (used charcoal brick and pencil, and vine).  I’ll soon be switching back over to graphite with a new marine drawing (as a Thursday drawing project).

The Glance was a nice challenge for me in sketching a side-portrait but also because the model had a strong profile that lent itself to strong lines and strokes.  Blending on this piece was done with a stump, tortillum, charcoal pencil and my fingers.

Hope you have a wonder weekend.  Thank you for checking in ~

The Glance - text

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Winter Light, oil pastel


Here is my last snow painting for the 2014 Winter season.  Don’t you think we all need a little warmth of Spring – stay tuned.

Winter Light, an oil pastel (6×9) was painted on light-gray tinted Mi-Teintes pastel paper using mainly Sennelier and Mungyo brand OPs.  Very little scraping was done on this piece, rather my fingers, clay shapers and pieces of pipe insulation were used to blend the colors.  I loved turning up the blues in this painting, just how cold can it get?

Winter Light - textA reference image was used, taken by Helen Stanchfield of pmp – although a lot of liberty was used to get the effect I was after.

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Anticipation, charcoal drawing


Anticipation, is a 9×6 portrait sketched in charcoal on Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper.   The free-hand drawing was good practice because of the variety of fabrics, blond hair and her features.  The original name of this drawing was Fresh, but based on great feedback from several followers, I’ve renamed the piece to Anticipation.

The portrait was based off of a reference image (taken by Alex Lee Johnson of pmp) from a photo shoot he did on a wooded path.  The model was shot full length from a distance, so I decided to crop the image and draw her close-up – the crop was a bit grainy, but what better way than to take a bit of license and have a go at it.

This drawing was done while on my break in December – thank you for stopping by.

Fresh - Text

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Morning View, oil pastel


Morning View, an oil pastel painting (5×10) is of an empty harbor during winter months.  The image I based this painting off of reminded me of how quiet Maine would get every winter after summer visitors would leave for the season.  It was a favorite time of the year for me.

The painting was done on a gesso-prepared hardboard, with Holbeins and Mungyo oil pastels and I used clay shapers and a painters knife to move the OPs around the surface.  Buildings, gulls or the lonely lobster boat heading out to sea for its daily catch were all left out because in this case I wanted to focus on the harbor water and back-hills – I’ll let the viewer fill in the blanks.

 

Morning ViewThe reference image was from pmp, Renee Hanlon.

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Posted in About Oil Pastels, OPs New Paintings | Tagged , , , , | 45 Comments