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Week 3 - Reflection on Life Drawing Charcoal

Updated: May 11, 2023

I was excited to use charcoal. It's a fun but messy tool, but builds a wonderful tonality and atmosphere in the drawings. At first, I used the charcoal to outline the figure. I soon recognised this was not using the medium to its fullest potential. Using the side of the charcoal to create shapes and willow and compressed can create wonderful Ines and tones at the same time.

Compressed charcoal can be used to create shapes and willow can create accents that can suggest detail. It took some time to make the transition from focussing on the online to shape and tone. I developed from making sharp contrasts that I had learnt from the ink drawing session, but was also able to demonstrate a more subtle transition in tone.

I again took a loose approach, I did not get everything right, but I was excited by allowing the charcoal to dance along the page while I observed the different poses of the life drawing model. I am starting to realise producing images based on realism and accuracy make for less interesting image-making. Life drawing that has a particular style that is uniquely identifiable is far more exciting. Sometimes it is the way the material or medium is applied to the page that creates a real tone or an impression on the audience. Images created and the process of making is an intuitive process for me, especially when the process has a limited time frame to complete each task.

Taking less time thinking about artwork and producing it in a short space of time creates better, more engaging images.

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