Thursday 9 October 2014

Studying under the Masters Week 1.part 4

yes I have skipped a part.. 

Part 3 is sculpting, and mine is started, but I am waiting for it to dry before I can carry on. So in the meantime I am doing...

Part 4. This was an exercise in drawing faces, getting proportions correct and using a specific blending technique. 

The first part involves drawing a face in charcoal (shudder, I really dislike charcoal)

{After a black crayon sketch by Van Gogh 1885}

Then we were to blend with gesso. Not a fan of this outcome at all, I have no idea why. 

I have done this blending technique many times before, but using neocolor II crayons and blending them with white acrylic. 

So I decided to draw the old peasant woman again, but this time give her some colour. 

Drawn out with 2b

Blending the skin tones of neocolorII crayons with white acrylic. 

I kept the colours simple and muted, after all his paintings of the time were all dark and murky, it wouldn't have been a good representation to to her in hot pink clothing lol 

So apart from the skin tones and white acrylic,  I only used Sepia. 

I could have added so much more, .. more layers , more washes, gone back in with graphite or finished it off with coloured pencils. 

I didn't want or need this to be a finished piece though, this is merely a blending exercise, so I am leaving it as is.. 

She looks much older in the colour version, this is I think down to the initial sketch. it was finer, and so I was able to make her face slimmer in the colour one. In the charcoal one, the charcoal spread a lot and made all her features more chubby, making her look younger. 

I do prefer the colour one. 

as a quick experiment, I also tried blending 6b with gesso, a pitt pastel with gesso, and a stabilo pencil with gesso.. 

The pitt pastel blended away into nothingness, the 6b and the stabilo, once blended were almost identical to the charcoal/gesso combo. 

*twiddles thumbs while clay dries*

Darcy x


  1. Enjoying seeing your drawings, how you blend them and the different blend outcomes. You did the right thing to stop also, i can imagine that would be a hard thing to do...

    Looking forward to the next part :-) xxx

  2. I love seeing all your different experiments with the same drawing--so interesting to look at. I don't like using charcoal either, but I haven't done this part of the lesson yet, so who knows I may change my mind!!

  3. Another wonderful piece Darcy, finished or not. It is so interesting to see all the different excercises. Looking forward to your clay drying ! Sue C x

  4. Really enjoying these posts, thanks for sharing your thoughts & process. I like this sketch.