Exercise – Tonal study

I decided to do this study at life drawing class and using Derwent XL Charcoal, a set of 6 coloured charcoals (white and black being 2 of the colours) which are in very big blocks.

I started out sketching in the rough outline to ensure the proportions were correct (which I got mostly right, but got the raised leg a bit in the wrong place). I then moved onto the XL charcoal.

XL Charcoal

I found this medium very difficult to control. It was very soft and I found that the majority of it ended up falling off the paper! This made it hard to get any deep tones and it also didn’t seem to blend in with the other colours very well. I persisted with it and the drawing looks OK, despite running out of time and not being able to add detail to the face and hands (something which wouldn’t have been easy anyway with the huge blocks of charcoal). I am not convinced by this medium and, whilst it may be worth further experimentation, I will leave it until after this course is finished as I am running out of time.

For my next attempt at the following life drawing class, I worked with Unison soft pastels and had much more success. I used a coloured sheet of about A0 size again, but only had enough time to work on the face.

Pastel fullPastel top

I struggled getting the tonal range with only 2 light brown and 1 dark brown pastels to play with, but I am pleased with the results and it does look like the model.

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