The Art Group held the June workshop in the cool of the church hall today, 10th June.
Paul Berryman drove down from Cambridgeshire and provided an entertaining Figures and Life Drawing in Charcoal Workshop presented in two parts.
In the first part he taught the attendees some basic principles of life drawing, namely tips in observation; using the 8 key building blocks of the body form; drawing curves; using negative space and finding the active line in the pose.
He followed up with how to create tone using charcoal and applying it to show light and shade before commencing part two with two hours of life drawing.
Poses ran from 1 minute through to 25 minutes in length and everyone continued with the charcoal and applied the techniques learned earlier in the day.
The artists all finished with plenty of sketches and were totally exhausted!
At our Zoom demonstration last Wednesday Paul Berryman showed us his secret to shadows – use the Terminator!
Apart from a film character, ‘terminator’ is the word used for the border between sunlight and dark on a planet or moon. So this border between light and shade is what Paul focuses on when drawing life models.
He showed us how he draws, quickly and in one considered line, the outline of the model. Then he outlines the critical edge to the deep shades – the terminator. If I said he then fills it in and blurs it to the correct tonal values that would make it sound easy – but in essence that’s the plan.
What to use
It does depend on what you use, and Paul generously shared the tools he used on the demo as follows:
General’s Charcoal pencils – (orange) recommended 2B, 4B, not so much the 6B – very soft!
Tombow eraser – 2.3mm (try Jacksons for suppliers)
Seawhite newsprint pads A4 or A3 depending on your preference
Helix A5 Metal Pencil sharpener
Blending stumps, widely available anywhere
I was happy to see I was on the right lines with my first Life Drawing workshop as I’d brought a stack of newsprint (saved from packing when I moved) as it seemed a good medium with charcoal. But I must get those pencils and the Tombow eraser – and a good sharpener – I’ve already had several useful pastel pencils eaten by an ordinary sharpener!
I really enjoyed this demo – possible the more so because I could watch it from home and scribble as many notes as I liked. Paul also sent links to his model photos. I’m planning to practice on some of them.
The discussion on schools of drawing and the animation approach was very interesting. If you’ve missed it, or want to go over it again, Gill sent the link to the recording of the demo, but it’ll only be available for another week, so act now!
We had a quick discussion on lighting the models for our life drawing workshop, so I hope our organisers can get some good strong but low energy lights to enhance our model’s shadows for next time.
Comments from other members
It is certainly great not to venture out in these dark evenings.
Thank you for all the demo information on materials. There was a lot of information from Paul last night.
Thank you for forwarding the list- yes he was magic I thought. For me, best we’ve ever had.
Thank you so much Gill [for the recording link] that is excellent. We are looking forward to watching this demonstration when we have a moment.
It was a super demo, I shall enjoy it a second time with the recording, and I’m sure learn even more.