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Old 07-20-2008, 11:11 PM   #1
Richard Jones Richard Jones is offline
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Angie




12" x 18", charcoal

I've been practicing with charcoal a lot lately, so I wanted to try working from life. This was done in a little over three hours. I'd really appreciate your criticisms and comments, and thanks in advance.
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:18 AM   #2
Peter Dransfield Peter Dransfield is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Jones
12" x 18", charcoal

I've been practicing with charcoal a lot lately, so I wanted to try working from life. This was done in a little over three hours. I'd really appreciate your criticisms and comments, and thanks in advance.
Nice charcoal drawing. I like the combination of smoky shading with a more linear use of the charcoal to define features. The features seem generally well-drawn. There are a couple of small things that I question - first the position of the ear seems a little too far forward given the angle of her head and the shadow under the nostril seems to start a little too low below the nostril. I am also not sure how to read the form below her head - is it a cloak? I think a little more definition of at least the top edge describing what the object is would help frame the head more satisfyingly.
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:21 PM   #3
Michael Georges Michael Georges is offline
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Richard, this is nice...thanks for posting it!

Very much gives the feel of watercolor, very soft. Is this a stylistic choice, or just how it turned out? What materials are you working with in this?

I like the placement of the head in the space. The area below her face gives the feel of folded arms, but I think it could use a bit more definition as, IMO, it weakens the composition.

I agree about the position and angle of the ear, and wonder at the shadow across the front of the nose as your light source seems to indicate that there would be a highlight area going most of the way down and then also on the tip of the nose. I am wondering if her closer eyebrow is not actually higher in the reference. She has very characteristic female brows and they usually sit higher on the brow bone because of how they are shaped. The shadow value on the side of the nose feels too deeply expressed, as does the shadow under the nose wing. The shadow on the side of her face flattens it, and it would be a rounded cheek and thereby have some more value transitions to make it feel so. Finally, the far eye looks flat rather than round - at least as it is depicted on my monitor.
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:22 PM   #4
Richard Jones Richard Jones is offline
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Thanks for responding, Peter.

The area underneath her face is her arm. She was resting on it because she felt it was a good pose to hold for about 10-15 minutes at a time. As time went on, she moved her arm (at one point she was resting on her wrist). I didn't put much detail into that part of the portrait because I didn't feel that it was that necessary, but I agree with your comments. I think I could have handled it better.
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:45 PM   #5
Richard Jones Richard Jones is offline
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Michael, it's charcoal. It's ground charcoal applied with a sock or a large bristle brush. I "pulled out" the highlights with a kneaded eraser, and I used a 6B charcoal pencil for the darks and hard edges and a 2B charcoal pencil for the darker mid values. This might explain some of the mistakes that you've pointed out in your reply. I think I pushed the darks too much in this one, which might explain the darkness on the nose in relation to the shadow on that side of the model's face.

I really appreciate you guys responding and pointing out some of the shortcomings of this piece. There are things that I'm still not seeing that stand out to better trained eyes. I'm still new to charcoal, so with time I'll refine this technique as well as correct the basic mistakes made with the values and composition.

Again, thanks for pointing it out. This was very helpful.
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Old 07-22-2008, 01:14 PM   #6
Michael Georges Michael Georges is offline
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Richard,

One of the things I consistently notice while working from life - is what I don't notice until the next morning when I come in and look and say "ARGH!"

Seems to be something about it - at least for me, and I wonder if it happens to others as well - that while I am working, somehow I just don't see the areas of trouble. I wonder if we get too "close" as it were to the work and enamored of what we see...

Fresh eyes the next day show a lot.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:49 PM   #7
Chris Saper Chris Saper is offline
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Richard, you've received excellent feedback - and given that you drew Angie from life, there's no going back, which is absolutely OK.

The reason I laugh is because what Michael describes happens to ALL of us. We finish a hard day in the studio and think "WOW! This looks just great!" Then in the morning,we realize that someone has let Studio Trolls into our studios who have RUINED our previously perfect work.

Good work, Richard,look forward to your next post!
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