Oil Portrait Homework

After work I hit my temporary basement studio and worked on the portrait. I had painted on a classic ground of burnt umber and burnt sienna previously. Tonight I transferred the drawing over by rubbing the back with charcoal and using a point to transfer the lines to the canvas.


Then I began painting the lines in with a thinned raw umber. One some lines are down, I go back and soften them to try to remove any hard edges that may interfere with later layers. This is still a tough thing for my to pull off, so it gets messy! I left some freshly painted hard lines so you could see the difference.


Once I had all the outlines in and softened, I block in the shadow masses. Another softening pass, and then a smoothing pass, removing any texture from the shadow masses.


It was difficult getting a pic of that last step without glare, so I stepped outside the room and took another, but it ended up smaller. But you can get the idea. Just adding that one value in makes a dramatic difference!

Monday Night Drawing

Because Rhonda asked for it…here are a couple examples of the stuff we work on in Drawing 101. Focus is on drawing fast and big, getting a light gesture drawing in and then going back to get the size, placement, etc correct. Just using linework, the smudges are from using my dirty old chamois to erase lines. I’m trying very hard to avoid jumping into values, because that’s my drawing crutch. Need to focus on my linework in a serious way.

This class helps so much, great for fundamentals in a guided environment. And learning to immediately correct mistakes and not try to commit to a wrong line is surprisingly difficult to learn! But it paid off well last night in the portrait class when I started to instinctively just erase bad lines rather than try to work with them.


Conte on 18×24 newsprint.

Wednesday Night Oils

So here we go again! I’ve skipped last week’s stuff. The drawing class for the first couple weeks is super rudimentary, important for me but boring to look at 🙂 For the painting class, we have two models and mine didn’t show last week, so I just practiced on the other one. However, this week he was present and I got in a decent session.


Once again have to reiterate how great the instructor is, and how effective her method of doing a measured geometric drawing is! During a break I snapped a quick WIP pic so you could see something of the process. It starts out very slowly, just building the outer form and getting a feel for the proportions. Slowly building up the measurements and angles until the rough form is in. Then going in and refining things, adding the tiniest bit of detail, mostly to better check the measurements and placement.

Then blocking in the shadow forms and done. Since I was a week behind, I kind of skipped around a bit, but in an informed way, adding a little detail and shadow to help me see some negative spaces (building on some of the still life work I’m doing).

The drawing could use another hour or so of refinement, but I think I’ll go ahead and transfer it to canvas over the weekend and fix anything (the lips for sure) in paint. That way I’ll be ahead of the game a bit, by a half a class over last semester!