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I missed last weekend’s figure drawing workshop so I was raring to go and felt good about maybe getting some drawings done today. I wanted to continue working on toned charcoal paper but I had recently purchased a pad of the Strathmore Toned Tan drawing paper and wanted to try it out. It wasn’t specifically made for charcoal but it was a sort of an all purpose multi-media drawing paper. It was the first paper I pulled out for the first 20 minute pose and I found out right away that it didn’t take charcoal well, at least not as well as the regular Strathmore charcoal papers. I’ll experiment with it some more at the next figure drawing session. Maybe I just need a little adjusting to it.


I quickly switched to the Strathmore 400 series charcoal papers and the superior quality was obvious. I thought I found a cheaper alternative in the pad of toned  tan drawing paper but the charcoal papers were just so much better. Maybe I was thrown off by it (drawing was a mess) and I struggled the rest of the day, even with the better charcoal paper.

2 Minute Poses

But before I got to drawing with charcoal I worked with sumi ink on the initial warm-up poses. We always start off with 10 tw0-minute poses to get us warmed up. Here’s a sample of one of the sketches I did with sumi ink.

SONY DSCTo see more samples, go to my Ink Figure Sketches Album on Facebook. You must be logged in to your Facebook account to be able to see it.

5 and 10 Minute Poses

After the warm up poses there were 2 five-minute poses and 1 ten minute pose. I put away my ink and used charcoal pencil for these poses. Below is the ten minute pencil charcoal drawing.


20 Minute Poses

After the 5 and 10 minute poses, we go to the longer 20 minute poses. I would have liked to post more than one of these drawings but the first one was a mess; the second one was probably the best of all four; the third was “meh” (like my daughter would say); the fourth would have been the best, except I made her nose waaayy too big (aargh). Below is the 20 minute drawing that I thought was worth posting.


I think I ran out of time to really work out the tones but it’s a learning process and I hope to get the paper tone, black charcoal and white highlight working well together at the next figure drawing session.