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Charcoal figure drawing - Helen DavisonCharcoal figure drawing - Helen Davison

These studies were a result of feeling that I just wanted some straightforward sight-size practice to get my eye in, so to speak. Both took 4 or 5 sessions each, which is relatively rapid for this kind of exercise. I remain a little on the fence about this timeframe. It doesn’t allow time enough for pushing the pose and refining the mark making, but neither is the more exciting immediacy of a sketch captured either. Personally I am currently much more interested in expressive drawing, but in the setting of a life drawing class such as this I am yet to really find the voice that I want to evolve. I think the answer is to just keep going; practicing, experimenting, looking for something different with every opportunity.

One new thing I did here was to use a pastel paper with charcoal (standing pose). The glass paper texture was interesting to use, producing sometimes unexpected effects as well as a set of challenges that required working out. The biggest of these was how the charcoal completely lifted when trying to blend or control an edge. At the same time however, a confident line laid down with pressure left a lovely dark clinging to the surface. I have spray fixed the picture and placed in my portfolio. Before I use the paper again, I will check that the charcoal has indeed stayed put.

Below are a few progress shots of each picture as it developed.