Exercise 2: Three figure drawings

This exercise required me to complete three drawings with different tools ;

  1. Standing, I chose brush pens and chisel markers
  2. Seated, this drawing used charcoal
  3. Lounging, I chose oil pastel for this image (mainly because I found my set and wanted to experiment)

I carried out 2 sketches for each larger image, I have found this useful for several reasons, it helps to understand the figures form, its mass/force distribution highlight any weakness in the pose and composition, I think it also serves up as a warm up or a dummy run, going through the motions once or twice before the main piece of work seems to inform your approach


Using a brush pen I marked out the pose, taking consideration of the subjects stance and where the balance was distributed, the left side of her hip turned upwards and her leg bent supporting her mass with a slight forward lean. I had a stubby Pentel chisel marker, I really like these markers, they are quite expensive and I tend to keep them past their prime, they take on a nice scrubby feel leaving a broken texture, the last of the wet ink clings tightly to the dry felt head, the pen squeaking in pain as its head is dragged against the paper. It means that I can get a mid tone from the black ink, and I like the effect.


I thought I’d give charcoal a whirl again. It is imprecise and messy in my hands, but thats probably due largely to my lack of exposure to the medium. Again I was happy with the way I had captured the pose, the weight of the model shifted to her right side, her right leg anchored to the floor. As I had expected the image was starting to get a little muddy, I decided to pause there and seal the drawing, unfortunately the lacquer seemed to react strangely with the paper, the lacquer picked up the pigment and made some water colour like wet edges. it also took the more delicate marks on the face and washed it into one grey tone. Im not sure what caused this, too heavy with the fixative or maybe the paper and charcoal had created a barrier that made the fixative pool on top. I did try to fix the drawing with a white conte crayon but it didn’t seem to make it much better. I decided to leave it as is and put it down as a lesson.


Again I was pleased with the pose and the way I captured the figures lean and relaxed arms versus the strong triangular shape of the legs. The oil pastel was thick, the large A2 sized paper allowed me to add a little more detail in, I would like to complete a drawing with oil pastel at a larger A1 size, just to see how far I could push the detail with the stubby greasy stick.

I worked tonally, using a grey pastel to mark the subject and than adding in darker and lighter tones with black and white oil pastels, I like the way the pastel acts as a blender as it passes over a neighbouring marks space, I tried to use this to sculpt and render the shapes such as the arms and legs, following the rounds and flats of the subject on to the paper, pulling and curving the pigment to delineate the desired form.

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