Following along with Steve Houston at NMA. Charcoal on Stonehenge paper. This was a nice tutorial on rendering gradations. Started out with an initial lay-in, demarcating the light and shadow side of the figure. From the core shadow scrubbed in a smooth gradation working into the shadows and then the light side of the figure.
Ron Lemen’s Figure rendering process. A very analytical approach to understanding figure abstraction, construction, and rendering.
There are four videos in the series.
The first video discusses the “Armature Stage”, which basically is capturing the gesture of the figure in a loose manner: “Loose and lively in the line work”. The most important take away for me in the first video was when drawing from reference photograph we have to know where the camera is in our reference, our camera level as oppose to our eye level sitting or standing in a classroom or studio.
The second and third video discusses surface form rendering. The topics discussed were: Edges of shadow and light and the gradient transitions that links them, value contrast, and tonal progression (vertical and horizontal gradient)
The fourth video just recaps what he went over in the previous videos.
I just love doing this value study of William Merritt Chase’s “Portrait of a Woman”. It supposed to be a preliminary sketch for an oil painting value study that turned into a full charcoal value study. The support is for oil, not charcoal, and therefore it was challenge getting the values just right. It was difficult laying my darkest darks as there was little tooth to the surface. There was something haunting about this peace, however it could be the music I was listening too whiles drawing: Wars of Faith by Audiomachine. Anyway, it was a great study and I think I will do another one from this artist again. Hopefully, I won’t get carried away again in charcoal.