Figure Drawing with Charcoal and Pastel

February 17, 2012

Figure drawing of Emily (charcoal and pastel) by M-J Kelley 2012

Figure drawing was the basis of my art training and continues today as a way of keeping my skills sharp. It also happens to be my most favourite thing to do.

Both images are of the same model – Emily. I always bring with me a few sheets of smooth newsprint and a few sheets of Canson Ingres paper. I warm up with one-minute poses drawing them on newsprint and then switch to the Canson paper for the longer poses.

In addition to several charcoal pencils, I brought a few colourful pastels with me to this session. I intentionally brought odd colours. The blues are soft pastels and the orange-yellow is a hard pastel. Though both are pastels, each is extremely different to work with. The soft pastels are easily the most luxurious, but also the most difficult to work with. They “paint” the paper. You merely touch the pastel to the paper and a deep rich colour is left behind.

The poses are not very long so I really only have time to lay down a smattering of colour, but it is enough to bring out the idea of cool light or warm flesh.

Figure drawing of Emily (charcoal and pastel) by M-J Kelley 2012

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