Something in sanguine
Sanguine seems to be very sympathetic to the rendering of human form, and so many of my favorite figure drawings are executed in it that I enjoy putting it to use from time to time.
Kohinoor manufactures the sanguine crayon I used on this, which I place in a brass holder and sharpen with a beautician’s callous remover. It’s got a slightly waxy binder, barely noticeable, and works fine for what I want to do.
My first step is to lay down a light tone with broad and easy strokes, which I rub loosely into the paper (a warm straw-colored Canson Mi-Teintes, the non-golfball-textured side) with either a bit of soft, unprimed linen canvas or paper towel, and then develop the drawing working from the outside-in, getting the big outer shape of the head established as best as possible, and gradually bringing the entire drawing along from there.
The longer I can resist adding the features of the face, just working with the underlying forms ( kind of like the look of a nylon stocking over a bandit’s head!) the better. My own taste is for the drawing to emerge somewhat loosely and casually from the paper, not suffered over to the point of being hard on the eyes of the beholder, if possible. I’ve seen drawings that have that sense of growing out of the page effortlessly, somewhat rarely I admit, and I’d like to get that sensibility into my drawings. I’ve used the term “casual elegance” to try and describe it, but that’s not sufficient.
If I ever get it, I won’t need to explain it. We’ll both know I think.
In the darks, moistening the tip of the crayon slightly gives a richer note. Removing highlights with a kneaded eraser is the last step. This pose was a little more than an hour, and is carried about as far as I wish to go with it as far as rendering. I always want to get a better expression though. Any fatigue of the model should never show.
Tags: Figure drawing workshop