|My pencil drawing, Alley, was the result of a 40-minute
pose that I did a few weeks ago.
Let’s get right down to the business of drawing. I attend life drawing classes twice a week at Spring Street Studios, and for many years now, I’ve been drawing figures on Rives BFK Tan printmaking paper. This is an archival paper, but the reason I chose it from among the many archival papers available is its toning. I draw using white Prismacolor pencils for highlights and Staedtler graphite 2B’s for darks.
The toning is important when doing a figure drawing because it establishes a mid-tone before I make any moves. In a life drawing workshop, the problem is always how to get a drawing done in the time you’ve got. Once the pose changes, it’s gone. A lot of my strategy for life drawing involves solving the problem – how do I cover more surface area in less time? I can’t use a thicker drawing implement like charcoal because I’m finicky about detail. The toning of my paper allows me to go for the fine structures when drawing anatomy in a 20-minute or 40-minute pose by leaving me free to focus only on highest highlights and darkest shadows.
|Ilya by Daniel Maidman,
pencil on paper, 2010.
A few examples of the results of my life drawing classes are below. What strategies do you use to match your style and the time you have when figure drawing in a limited-time situation?