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City Lit Drawing Week 4 - charcoal again

This week I felt was a disaster for me, let's hope it was just a blip. We were standing in the same positions and redrawing or reframing our composition from last week, back in charcoal again on a VERY large paper - 2 x sheets of A1. Quite odd to be working at such a scale. And I was a bit rushed in mine since I spent ages mapping out the bell wrongly at the beginning.

I won't write so much detail on this day's work since my mind was not totally on the job due to a splitting migraine and being on a (silly) juicing fast. I had to really deal with self -judgment and feelings of failure etc which always escalate to other depressive thoughts. Hey ho! Just get on with it. The group were very supportive.

To the left is a black and white photo, and above is my charcoal drawing. He always tells us to embrace the drips and blotches that come with the inking-in step, but I think this one's drips and splodges (eg under the bell) haven't quite added but rather detracted.

Steps were:

1- map out the composition from the real life set up, or checking your drawing (didn't quite get this bit)

2 - get the measuring right, with paintbrush, (I find this SO hard) particularly on large paper

3- start to map out darker areas with charcoal then very very very light wash indian ink (the water on the brush swooshes the charcoal around and makes it darker

4 - wait for paper to dry

5 - pick out lightest areas to encircle with white chalk

6 -start to work back in with charcoal and even black chalk to get more tone.

He also told me off for not leaving the oil can alone (tope right corner) and making it darker - I had wrongly assumed I needed to bring all objects to the same state of completion, ie depth of tone to match the darkness of the bell, BUT he taught me that actually areas of variation of finished-ness might be more what creates interest, if you see what I mean.

It was hard because you're not supposed to rub in the charcoal to create blending really. Also, I wished I'd used the ink more carefully and sparingly. This can really add to the stylistic authenticity if used well.

For example - I am obsessed with my colleague Bridget's jug below :

and look at this one! They both feel so self-assured...

I feel I ought to practice at home this week, I feel I'm falling behind!! Not enough time though. I wonder what's we'll do next week.

Meanwhile I'm reading previous City Lit's students' blogs of the same course at the same time.

Here's one from 6 years ago :

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