The Last Post (on life studies)

Nine weeks of life-drawing sessions have gone by in a flash and mostly my experiences were happy ones. I had hoped that we would repeat the charcoal (outside in) method of shaping the figure (see August 4 post), but no. I’m showing a few sketches I quite like from the last two classes. There are always reservations to what could have been done better, or differently, and the five images below show different mediums and time taken for various poses.

15 minute sketch: 6B graphite with diluted black ink/water wash on Hahnemuhle paper.

This seated pose came after a raft of fast ink sketches using a thick brush on newsprint, which I DO NOT enjoy doing. I was pleased when the longer poses came, and I switched to a lovely cream 140g Hahnemuhle paper, which works well with many drawing mediums and handles a light wash well.

Next, for a similar pose, I changed medium to a sepia compressed pastel, but ‘did not feel the love’ for the drawing at the time. I came to like it a little more on a later viewing, and decided to post it, as it is good to show work whether you love it or not.

15 minute sketch: compressed pastel on newsprint

This week was the last, and once more we were back to doing quick sketches using willow charcoal, with a different model this time. I include an A1 newsprint page below, featuring two standing poses; there were many more like this.

Two 2 minutes sketches: willow charcoal on newsprint

Next was a longer pose, another back view. I plodded with this sketch, wishing I’d not kept to the newsprint as suggested. That’s because using a drawing paper with more texture, or weight, gives one more scope for manipulating the charcoal in various ways. I often use a charcoal pencil as well as a willow stick on such paper.

20 minute sketch: willow charcoal on newsprint

The last sketch was again on newsprint and I, in usual fashion, muddled around with the medium and didn’t finish the sketch. My intention is to finish this sketch – one day.

Unfinished 20 minute sketch sketch: charcoal pencil, willow stick, green pencil and pastel on newsprint

It’s been fun talking to you about the sketches over the past weeks. Thank you for your responses. And, thanks to the art classes, as I have made some new art friends.

8 thoughts on “The Last Post (on life studies)

  1. Thank you for this series of posts. Not only are your drawings/sketches quite lovely but I have learned so much about the technique behind the sketches. I hope you will soon be able to take part in another course and share this with your readers.


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