Lesson on Portraits – Charcoal on Newsprint

I have always avoided drawing people, well, in particular; their eyes, lips…noses… basically the whole entire face. And unfortunately this week was all about portraits in my drawing course. I was completely terrified, but after my professor explained some simple rules of drawing faces, I was eager to try.

Portrait Practice - Charcoal on 18X24" Newsprint

Portrait Practice – Charcoal on 18X24″ Newsprint

She eased us into it by putting dramatic lighting on our live models so they would be easier to draw. I kept starting over so I wasn’t able to complete a full portrait but every time I restarted I learned something new about drawing faces so i don’t regret it.

First progress shot

First progress shot

Second progress shot

Second progress shot

Charcoal on 12x18" Newsprint

Charcoal on 12×18″ Newsprint

That night I went home and practiced on an image I found online… I was completely amazed by my progress in one day.

I would love to see other people’s portrait work.

A Lesson in Figure and Movement

I finally pulled the trigger on something I’ve always wanted to do while I am still enrolled at Parsons, School of Design… I finally took a drawing course. At first, it was very intimidating but luckily the majority of people in my class are also just beginners or hobbyist and not fine arts majors.

I had a particularly interesting lesson that I wanted to share with all of you on figure and movement. We had a nude model, charcoal and 18×24 newsprint and were told to draw what we saw. So this is the result of my first go at it.

Nude Figure Attempt One

Nude Figure Attempt One

After the exercise we had our lecture on how to convey movement and energy, what does that mean? Using the inner line and cross contour versus outlining the body. This was my second attempt.

Nude Figure Attempt Two

Nude Figure Attempt Two

Nude Figure Attempt Two

Nude Figure Attempt Two

Nude Figure Attempt Two

Nude Figure Attempt Two

We looked at everyones work and attempted a third and final time.

Nude Figure Attempt Three

Nude Figure Attempt Three

Nude Figure Attempt Three

Nude Figure Attempt Three

Quite a transformation in one session!

Maggie Taylor

A lot of design teachers would show students examples of graphic designers and photographers however none of the artists really stood out to me like Maggie Taylor.

Her artwork is so unique, she creates such a fascinating narrative with her surrealist mashups – even her technique is uncommon. By scanning her objects using an open flatbed scanner in a dark room* (pitch-black room to process photos) she creates depth in her photos.

Mood lifter Maggie Taylor 2001                                                                                      Mood Lifter – 2001

The Beacon Maggie Taylor 2009
                                                                                    The Beacon – 2009

The Collector Maggie Taylor 2009
                                                                                   The Collector –  2009

Woman with a stone skirt Maggie Taylor 2005
                                                                       Woman with a Stone Skirt – 2005

*Her technique is quoted from one of my design professors.

Source: Maggie Taylor