Feb 28, 2011

Drawing Basics: How to sharpen a charcoal pencil

A correctly sharpened charcoal pencil.
I was sharpening some charcoal pencils and realized this might be a good subject to cover. I sharpen the charcoal pencils differently for more freedom and flexibility when drawing. As you can see to the right, I learned to sharpen my charcoal pencils to have a long sharp point. This is because I have been taught to use the charcoal pencil more like a paintbrush and to draw using the whole movement of the arm rather than just the movement of the wrist. To draw this way requires the pencil to be sharpened in a different manner than I normally would sharpen other types of pencils.

Today, we are going to look at how to sharpen a charcoal pencil in a way that exposes more of the charcoal, making the pencil easier to use and allowing us to take advantage of the medium more effectively.

Let's look a the benefits of sharpening the pencil this way. 

Feb 20, 2011

Painting Basics: How to begin a portrait painting

Portrait painting demo
I thought I might continue with the subject from the last post today. In the last post I demonstrated how to start a portrait drawing by setting up the simple structures and then defining the plane changes of the surface using a charcoal pencil. This time around I want to apply the same techniques and concepts to painting in oil paint. 

Today, we are going to set up a portrait painting like we did for the portrait drawing in order to highlight the similarities and differences between the two mediums.

We will start by with the materials used.

Feb 12, 2011

Drawing Basics: Portrait drawing, how to start drawing a head

Starting a portrait drawing.
Like many others, I like drawing portraits. I like the expressive qualities of the face and also enjoy the challenge of getting something that looks like the person I am drawing as well. In order to be able to balance both effectively I find it helpful to know how to construct a head and face rather than just copying the all the details I see. I want to be able to understand the forms created by the head and face in order to get a likeness and capture the expressiveness of the person that I am drawing.

Today, I thought we could look one of the ways I like to start out  when drawing a portrait.

We will look at the steps to find the forms using basic shapes and the surface planes as a way to construct the structures of the head.