Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Sarah" (graphite and chalk; 16" x 12")

Today was the last session of Lisa Semerad's figure drawing (short pose) class at the Art League School in Alexandria, VA.  To top off our nine-week forays into the fascinating world of figure drawing, we were assigned to a two-hour-long pose with just a bit of instruction about different kinds of paper and drawing tools.

I chose a warm, mid-toned Canson Mi-teintes paper, since it seemed to match her skin tone fairly closely.  Getting the pose down wasn't hard.  The challenge for me was to get hatching right.  Last week, Lisa showed the different types of hatching--simple, contour, planar, and cross--and told us to practice at home.  Have I done that?  Of course, not. 

And working with white chalk as well as graphite made things really exciting (i.e., confusing).  The paper provides the mid tone; graphite pencils, darks; and white chalk, the highlights.  If you mix graphite and white chalk, you get a disgusting blue gray!  They don't come into contact, excpet where there is an abrupt change of planes from dark to light.

Two hours was a long time for us, a luxury--enough time to get the drawing right, add values, work the environment which the model occupied into the composition, and fiddle.  The model's right knee got a whole lot of white highlights, for instance.  It comes forward too much.  Oh, well.

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