Yikes this week was hard. I should have taken pictures during the week and there wasn’t and still isn’t much to look at since it is just a line drawing at this point.
The original plumb line and horizontal were easy. We used a level to find those. The angle of the face though, I had to correct that over and over. I would think I had it correct and start drawing. Then I would realize that something was off again. Measure again, move the line, draw again, and it is off again. Argh!!!!
Another huge learning curve this week has been working with charcoal. My hands are used to working with graphite more than any other drawing media. Charcoal is both clumsy and subtle at the same time and requires practice, practice, practice. The charcoal pencils are not the same thing at all. They don’t erase, the texture of the pigment is coarser even with the softest charcoal pencil. I didn’t figure this out until I started practicing my “scales”. 1 and 2 were done with a soft charcoal pencil. The far left was done with soft vine charcoal. It is much easier to blend, easier to erase, and horrible to put any kind of point on.
This was a mighty frustrating week. The line drawing above is about 15 hours worth of work. I know this wasn’t an easy drawing to do even for a Bargue drawing. I do think, however, that I’m learning more because it is an increased level of difficulty. I don’t know what I was doing wrong with my measuring, and next time, I will be even more careful at the beginning and document my line lengths.
I began adding the darkest shadows to the drawing, and look at this! Yes, there are many things I have to fix (thank you charcoal…) and this is about an hour and a half of additional work.
So the one thing I truly understand is that measuring is hugely important. Because I was able to get those lines precisely where they belong, the short time I put into this sketch working on the shadows is a likeness of the original! Never mind that I don’t have any of the subtle shading in place. Since the lines and proportions are correct, it reads as the same person.