One thing I’m guilty of doing is cropping in tight on the models. During the Figure in Landscape workshop, Ying Li stressed the importance of placing the figure into the space. Here is an exercise where I’ve attempted to pay as much attention to the space and background as I did to the figure.

Reclining female in red robe. I used this sketch as a reference for a painting but wasn’t able to capture the energy of the original. I did this sketch in Life Drawing class at the Mountain Art Center in Ben Lomond. The Art Center offers weekly classes.  No need to plan ahead, just drop-in and join in […]

The model on this night of Life Drawing, had wild hair; a mixture of dreadlocks and tiny braids. I hid her eyes behind her fringe of bangs and added dark a few dark gestural lines to capture the her free-spirited do.  

Standing one-minute poses are something you’ll do at the start of most Life Drawing sessions. These quick sketches are usually done on cheap newsprint with vine charcoal. Vine charcoal is made from willow vines that have been burned at high temperatures. One of the big advantages of charcoal is how easily it can be erased. In this sketch. If you look […]

Working in charcoal is a good way to study light and shadow. Notice the little highlight under the breast and how it helps create volume. The body is actually the light source, its bouncing light back up into the breast shadow. In this sketch I’ve broken one of the cardinal rules of figure drawing; thou shalt not crop the head. What would […]

A time saving device used in gesture drawings is blocking in the scull; using a flat plane for the face. Capturing the gaze is enough for a one-minute pose, anything more and you won’t get the whole body done. These quick studies help loosen up your arm and ground you in the art of seeing the whole image before moving […]

I wouldn’t mess with this chick would you?  Did this sketch while looking in a mirror. It was the initial step for an oils painting. Contrary to the look on my face, I really was enjoying myself! Artist often use themselves as a subject matter. The benefit of doing a self-portrait as apposed to a portrait of someone […]