Thursday, February 4, 2010

Charcoal Drawings of the Male Nude. Light and shadow, muscles and mood.

Whenever I have a figure drawing session to look forward to, my brain is plotting and planning all day...what material do I want to use? What paper am I going to bring? Is there going to be wine? (That last question of course being the most important one!)

Last night our lucky, lucky group had a terrific male model. It was my first opportunity to work with him, and I had anticipated that I would want to work with charcoal pencil - a little tighter and more specific than I tend to work from a female model (such as the watercolor drawings from the previous post).

The first few 3-5 minute gestures were a mix of vine charcoal and charcoal pencil.

The gesture drawings were very dramatic - the spotlights were creating bright areas of light and shadow, and the model had some great twists and changes in his weight.  He had great mass in his legs - he was muscular without being sinewy.  (By love, and by law, I will say that my husbands' legs are better :)

Our long pose had the model leaning into a tower of black blocks.

This was about an hour of drawing, starting with a little vine charcoal and slowly getting darker with a hard and then soft charcoal pencil.  I was sitting closer than I normally do, working on an 11" x 14" drawing pad. So I cropped off the legs.  I wish I had brought a larger pad or surface because the whole pose was great.

Keeping the proportion correct and considering how all of the light and shadow was working together was of course very challenging.  I actually like this cropped area the best.  I think whole drawing, above, feels a little off - I don't think I ever got the shape of his face correct.

In the last half hour I switched to the other side of the room.

The lighting was also great from this side of the room - almost hitting the palm of his hand directly, creating a very cool set of shadows thru his fingers.  I worked quickly, blocking in large areas of shadow with the side of a piece of vine charcoal, then using a kneaded eraser to define the light. 

You can see more of my drawings of the male nude in my Etsy shop.


Pegi said...

These are REALLY great, Kristina!! Also, the fact that he had ribs and muscles that are well defined really shows! COOL!! :)

Almay Alday said...

Gorgeous drawings! I wish I could draw like that!

Krystyna81 said...

Thank you for the kind words!
Pegi - it's always SO hard to capture the light on the torso! The model's breathing changes it every second...I'm so glad you can see the form.