Portrait charcoal study on Canson paper. For this study I employed the “wipe-out” method where I first covered the entire paper with a medium tone of charcoal and then proceeded to wipe out the lights with a piece of leather chamois. At this stage I am only establishing the major light and dark patterns (Notan) of the portrait. I am also checking overall proportion, gesture and shape accuracy. Initial darks are laid-in with vine charcoal.
If I feel confident of my major proportions and shapes, then I switch to charcoal pencil and start to delineate smaller forms lightly, being careful not to make any permanent marks (I have a tendency to press to hard with my charcoal pencil). At this stage I am searching, adjusting for smaller forms, again checking proportions and shape accuracy and how the smaller forms fit within the whole. My darks are still relatively light at this stage.
After massing in the smaller forms, and feeling confident about their placement, I start to model; taking the relatively flat shapes and making them 3-dimensional.