Hat trick

I’ve been talking to some of my art friends about going to a life drawing session and they made some very good recommendations about using materials I’m familiar with. Usually I draw with either ink or watercolor, unless I’m doing something digital. But neither of those seems well suited to a life drawing class. I think that graphite or charcoal would be best, until I can get around to using paint, but that may take some practice. So I’m going to do some exploring with different media before I attend that first session. I rather like the look and feel of toned paper – it seems a bit easier to create dimension than building it all up with the graphite. I’d really love to do drawings with brush pen, and I guess there’s no reason I couldn’t bring a few different things to try.

Earlier today I saw a neat pencil drawing on toned paper, and I had some “bogus rough sketch” paper on hand to experiment with. I drew this using a 4B water soluble Derwent pencil (then I added some water to slosh it around a bit) and finished up with Prismacolor white pencil and some 4B Derwent graphite pencil. I think I’ll try some figures, too, just to see how it goes. I recall seeing some fantastic figure drawing on toned paper in Drawing magazine … around here somewhere … hmmm …

Oh and UCLA beat Alabama, onward to the Sweet Sixteen. Go Bruins.


  1. Catherine
    March 19, 2006

    Karen – this is a great sketch! I just purchased a pad of Bogus paper to try with a soft, dark drawing pencil and a white prisma color. It hadn’t occured to me that I could use something water soluble on that paper. After seeing your’s, I’m very eager to give it a try.
    Thanks for showing it to us – I love it!

  2. Albert J. Lecuyer
    March 19, 2006

    Karen, actually, brushpens are great for figure work. Especially quick gestural drawings.

  3. Karen
    March 19, 2006

    Albert, come to think of it, you’re right. I was envisioning having to draw a huge picture with the little pen, but I could just as well do some smaller sketches in my sketchbook …

  4. TeriC
    March 19, 2006

    This paper reminds me of my Earthbound sketch book with tan paper. There is just something about it that keeps bringing me back to it. AND, it is so nice to ksee you trying new things too. Gosh, I thought you were so accomplished you knew everything! Well, in my mind you do.

  5. Robin N
    March 19, 2006

    Love the study Karen.
    Classes are on my To Do list.
    May most likely, but you do have me inspired to warm up.

  6. Misa
    March 20, 2006

    Karen, I use watercolors in my life drawing class. I use a yellow ocher color to block in the basic shape of the body, then black and a terra-cotta-ish color (one on each side of the brush) to do the contour. I generally don’t “outline” the whole thing, but I do a good part of it. The yellow is extremely watered down, just enough to get pigment on the paper. The other two are straight from the tube, with just a tiny bit of water added – it is still a very thick consistency. I work on 18×24 newsprint. Everybody in my life drawing class does this at least a couple of time during the quarter.

    My instructor also suggest that, if you’re going to do contour at all (which is an EXCELLENT way to “get into the class” – aka warm up), that you use a tool that won’t break. Generally, I use marker for the first contour, though I’ve seen some people use ballpoint pen.

    I love the drawing, especially the way you used white. Very nice.

  7. Karen
    March 20, 2006

    Teri, Robin, Misa, thanks for your kind thoughts …

    Misa, thanks for those suggestions of other tools and techniques to use in life drawing … I’m getting such good ideas from everyone …

  8. Robyn
    March 20, 2006

    Loved this when I saw it on your Flickr page and I still love it here. It reminds me old Italian Master’s sketches.

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