Figure In Oil, Step One: Charcoal Drawing

Step one in my current figure in oil process begins with a charcoal drawing of the reference. I spent two hours on this drawing focusing hard to get it correct. The success of the entire painting depends on getting this step correct. In representational art drawing is paramount.

I worked so hard on this drawing that I had to do an overlay comparison to check my work so far. Although it is a bit off, I’m happy with the outcome and when I start up this painting again I will have to correct these differences in the drawing before moving on to more paint.

Figure In Oil, Step One: Charcoal Drawing, overlay compare
Overlay comparative between drawing and reference

We live in a time now inundated with technology and I don’t see enough artists taking advantage of it. There is no better way to separate yourself away from your work than with the camera lens. Yet, I still see artists looking through mirrors and turning their canvases upside down. Simply snap a photo of your work on your smart phone and I guarantee you will see issues that you were amazed you didn’t see before. From seeing drawing issues to turning your work black and white to check values there are so many ways that modern technology can help you improve. Don’t shy away from the technology, embrace it, make it work for you and use it to become a better artist.

Figure In Oil, Step One: Charcoal Drawing, painting setup
Painting setup

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