Friday, June 19, 2015


10" x 14" Charcoal on Gray Paper
Thursday's live portrait model came with his hair done in a way I've never drawn before - dreadlocks! It's always fun when the host studio provides new and different challenges for us to draw. As far as I'm concerned, the live sessions aren't to learn how to draw, say, noses, eyes, hair, or even an entire face for that matter. The sessions are to practice putting the darks and lights in the right places relative to each other. Then everything takes care of itself. If, when you stand back and look at the portrait from a little bit of distance, and the facial features don't seem right, take a good look at the model. Then instead of thinking "nose", "eyes" or "hair", see where the light and dark areas are and place them on your paper (or whatever you're drawing or painting on) in the right shapes, proportions and distances to each other. Getting those right is a matter of hand/eye coordination and takes practice. Just as a basketball player needs regular time in the gym practicing layups and free throws, and a concert pianist needs to practice scales, painters need time practicing drawing and painting from life.

Of course, just what is "right" in a drawing opens up a whole 'nuther can o' worms. That's a subject for another time.

For more about drawing sessions, go to "Labels" on the side bar and click on "sketching" or "drawing."

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