Thursday, February 2, 2012

Iron Maiden

Posted by: Kate
In between treks to the Circle K to get Mountain Dew for our sensei and wiping the sweat off his brow as he completes his latest human skin masterpiece, Dave and I have a lot of time on our hands to work on our own artwork.  I've just started a portrait of Joshua's wife, Nichole.  She's kind of like a walking portfolio of some of his best work.

The awesome thing about white chalk and charcoal on grey paper is that A) everything goes so much faster so you have time to do other more important things like check your facebook news feed, B) it forces you to simplify your half-tones, and C) as an added bonus it turns everyone into the Tin Man.

I managed to finish this drawing today after scarfing down a trusty bacon doughnut to jettison me over the finish line.  Here's a close up.

For the people who read this blog to glean strategies to apply to their own work ("They're doing what?"), here is an in-progress shot of the face after the features were placed in with vine charcoal and before I committed to them with General's pencil charcoal.  Vine charcoal is a great way to ensure that you can completely erase your erroneous tracks and pretend to be a virtuoso by presenting a very fresh and clean looking finished drawing.


  1. Thanks for posting this! I look forward to the finished piece. Is this a study for a painting? Is this going to be the portrait?

    About the point "C" you made about the tin man syndrome. I was just complaining about that a couple days ago in a post of mine on the "Wetcanvas" portrait forum. Have you ever tried a warm-colored off white pastel pencil for highlights in a charcoal drawing on tan or buff colored paper?

    1. Good suggestion. I'll give it a try.
      This drawing is prep for a portrait painting. Next step is to order me a canvas.

  2. Wow...she's like a photo altered in real. I will never be able to draw this well...ever. So I will come back and just keep enjoying your art. : )

    PS: Your cousin really IS a rock star. What a great song!

  3. Thanks for fun and keeping it real! I will gleam as I glean,(I will want to try this myself..)
    Also, a bacon doughnut sounds interesting.

  4. beautiful drawing :) I have been looking for a neutral gray paper, do you mind if I ask which brand and color this one is?

  5. @Cortescu
    This is Canson paper. I don't know that they have more than one grey tone. I use the smooth side of the paper. Stonehenge also makes a lovely grey. It's much lighter and works beautifully with graphite.