My Best Figure Drawing

This may be the best figure drawing that I have done all year. I used the best quality paper and the best quality charcoal, the combination of the two really made a difference.

My last drawing was all about preparation for this drawing. I knew that I wanted to get deep into a long term drawing so I made sure that before I went into the session that I knew what my goals were. 

My first goal was to not worry about the materials, even though the paper and charcoal was the most expensive, ( Arches 300lb Hot Press watercolor paper and Nitram fine art charcoal ). My next goal was to block in the figure quickly before the first break with a big chunk of cheap charcoal, not worrying about the details, just getting a good placement of the figure as well as a general, but accurate, account of where the shadow and light shapes are. Third goal, don’t’ worry about half tones until the major light and dark shapes are figured and placed correctly. Forth goal, once I have all the major shapes established blend the whole drawing down with a large brush so its a faint blurry accurate description of the scene, then work back into the drawing with details starting with the darkest darks first.

I think I accomplished all of these goals, and I had a great time doing it. I took my time, I wasn’t rushed, I was focused but not tense. Needless to say, I’m very happy with the result.

The Drawing


I forgot several times to take a picture of the drawing in its earlier stages, this is about 1.5 hours into the drawing. The distractions were great though, I really enjoy speaking to the other artists in these life drawing classes. I always learn something, and every now and then I tentatively impart some information that I think may be helpful.


The finished drawing, I wish I had a bit more time to focus more on the generalization of the fabric under her and next to her folded leg.

Session Details