Here it is, the last drawing project! For this one, we were to use a model and draw a bust portrait, having the model draped in cloth. Fabric is possibly the only thing I’m still a little uncomfortable drawing, even with the practice I gave myself before doing this piece. So in an attempt at fearlessness, I used two blankets in this composition. Because I’m like that.
The model is my husband. He was drafted for this project primarily because it was easy for him to find time to sit for it, but I think he actually enjoyed the experience. Behind him is a menorah in a Tree of Life design. It’s not just a prop, he is Jewish (why else would we have one laying around?). But I admit I included it because after looking at him sitting in front of a blank wall with a big glare on it, I felt like there needed to be something to catch the light and add a different texture. Plus the gold candle cups provided a pop of a different color to contrast the blue wall.
Materials: dry pastel, charcoal, colored pencil, white ink.
The last of the self portraits! This one’s directions were just “anything [we] think is interesting,” and I find profiles to be interesting because they can look almost impromptu, like you’ve sketched the person while they were in the middle of something else. Except in this case, I sketched myself. So.
Anyway, this one is also graphite, and to keep up the pattern of using a different technique for each self portrait, this one involved gesture drawing strokes to create the shapes and forms, lights and darks, and no blending or highlight-pulling with erasers. It’s also my favorite of the three, because I think it looks most like me naturally, as opposed to me posed.
The second self portrait in the series was to be of a silly, sad, angry, or otherwise odd face. I chose to draw this quizzical expression, mostly because I thought the way the facial muscles pulled around the eyebrows, nose, mouth, and chin looked cool. This is also done in graphite with a hatching technique for shading.
This is the first in a 3-part series of self portrait assignments. Each is supposed to show a different face or expression. This first one shows just a straight expression. For this I used my graphite pencils, which have been sorely neglected this term. Also used were erasers to pull out lights and highlights in the hair, and dry paint brushes for blending on the face (since I didn’t have any clean big tortillons, an early attempt with Kleenex proved nonviable, and I didn’t want to leave finger-streaks in the graphite).
I know, it’s been a while since I updated. Spring Break happened, and then I just kept…not updating. But don’t worry, I’ve been busy all the while!
Here at last is the finished landscape. Charcoal and erasers, and a paper towel used on the sand to approximate the texture. The sand was definitely the most challenging part of the drawing, while the clouds were just really fun to make.
For this drawing assignment, we were to create a composition of complex shapes (i.e., not simply rectangular objects, or circular, etc.) that exhibits attention to unity, balance, and focal point. I immediately began to think in terms of color, but knew that I wouldn’t want to create a large drawing with colored pencils (all that teeny-tiny finger work!), so I went to oil pastels. (Confession: I totally used colored pencils on the spoon. I have no idea how to work oil pastels in such a tiny and detailed space.)
My oil pastel skills were a bit rusty to begin with, and I messed up in my first go at the underpainting for the background, but I am pretty happy with the results. I have to admit, I really dig the shine on the mug. Plus I proved to myself that I still (sorta) know my way around oil pastels. Yay!
As required, first the sketch page that has a couple different angles and close-ups. As you can see, it also includes some color mix tests.
And the end result is in the top photo. I say end result, but there are a few things I’d like to tweak at a later date, when I’ve replenished some of my oil pastel stock. But I like this for now.
The midterm assignment was to draw something that illustrated form, volume, and shape. Originally I started working off a photo of two red-crowned cranes dancing, but then realized we were supposed to use a photo we’d taken ourselves. So I restarted with a photo of Schloss Ort in Gmunden, Austria, where I visited in 2005 and took this picture from the bridge between the castle, which is on an island in a lake, and the converted hotel.
Here is the picture I worked from:
And the finished product, done in charcoal only (well, with some kneaded eraser here and there), is in the top photo.
The goal of this assignment was, I think, similar to the texture panels and the soda can, in that we were to capture the unique texture of a paper bag that had been crumpled up, pulled partially back into shape, and arranged in some interesting way. Back to charcoal for this, mostly just vine with a little compressed here and there for added depth. Also some pretty heavy use of tortillons “dirtied” with charcoal, to make the lighter and subtler shading.
This assignment was to find a soda can, crush it, and then stretch it back out a bit, so that an interesting pattern of wrinkles and shapes would be formed on the surface of the can (rather than drawing a plain ol’ cylinder). We were able to choose our media for this, so after refamiliarizing myself with colored pencils in the sketchbook assignment, I used them for this can also.
One note: the can, which my husband found for me since I don’t drink sodas, was a normal red Coke can. But my supply of red Prismacolors was too used-up to complete the drawing. I did have plenty of blues, though, so I used those and “translated” the colors and values.