I took a HUGE bite and chewed like crazy …..

Female Nude in pastel and charcoal

Female Nude in pastel and charcoal

No, I am not eating people.

I ventured past the pear, apple and jug and decided to draw a nude …… in pastels.

This is my first nude pastel and boy oh boy, have I learnt a lot in the process. Will this learning curve translate into the next nude drawing? We might have to wait 3 years to find out, as it may take that long to build up the courage again.

Cezanne, Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec all used outlines, even in nudes so I was eager to give this a go.

Here is what I have learnt

–       I need more colours. I don’t have enough dark blues, greys and purples.

–       I need to choose a colour palette before I start otherwise it may end up too green, or too orange.

–       Remember to sign before taking a photo

–       Remember to check hands and feet before taking a photo. Her right hand looks like she has been split in half.

–       Do some sketches first to decide on a background colour.

–       Almost forgot to mention the most important of all ….. check myself in the mirror for charcoal and pastel smudges on nose, cheeks, forehead, ears even before picking son up from school.

–       Work off a coloured source.

I worked from a black and white charcoal drawing from one of my favourite books, ‘How to Draw the Human Figure’ by Victor Ambrus.

Needless to say, I am still pleased with the outcome. I am just itching to get in there with some darks though. Guess I will just have to go shopping. Bummer.

I could highlight more, what do you think? More highlights or more darks?


14 thoughts on “I took a HUGE bite and chewed like crazy …..

  1. Considering I wouldn’t even attempt to draw anything other than a stick figure (with a No.2 pencil) I think it looks great. I wouldn’t know it was your first attempt. Shading and highlights? Sorry… no help there. Shopping? Yes, always go shopping! Darks, lights – whatever you feel you need, may need, or may anticipate needing – buy them! I am a firm believer in being prepared. That I can attest to, and will gladly apply to any discipline, interest, hobby, profession…:) Be prepared!

    1. That’s the P of the INTP part right, not being as prepared as say a J? I tend to just spontaneously pick up a pastel and draw. Needless to say, the points that I listed, of the things that I learnt were quite obvious. An experienced pastelist or artist of any medium would just go der! Better get shopping, have no excuse now.

      1. 🙂 I am not sure if it is the P or the J – I just like to buy the stuff if I am into a hobby. Not that many projects get finished ( is that a P or a J…) but I do like to have things “just in case…”
        And, I am a believer in “retail therapy” and I think my mind may have been in that mode just a smidge… or a smudge… of dark shades needing to be lightened. 🙂

        My sister emailed me the last 2 pics of the drawings. I will send in the next day or two. I showed them to a friend – just the snapshots of the pics on my iphone – she was enthralled. 🙂

      2. Excellent, I’m keen to see those drawings.
        My sister is more J than me and she is so much more efficient, organised and prepared. I need to fit her in my pocket.

    1. Oh good, I’m glad there is depth. My eyes are turning it all into mush from staring at it for so long.

  2. Looks really good! Wouldn’t know it was your first attempt at pastels. As for your mention of the hand, I had a life drawing teacher once who emphasized to always draw the hands and feet larger – apparently it’s a common occurrence for everyone to draw hands/feet smaller than they actually are in proportion – I know I did!

    1. I’d love to go a life drawing class, especially for the handy advice like that, with the hands and feet. I can understand why now that you mention it. Thanks.

  3. Another really good tip – taught to me by my art teacher – was to look at your drawing upside down from time-to-time (if you can). It immediately highlights if anything is not quite right. Weird but true. I’ve just stumbled across your blog and I’m loving what I’ve read and seen so far.

    1. Thanks for the tip … I just love blogs because I can get all these great tips. I am going to try this out.

  4. Hey! Thanks so much for checking out my blog! First I wanted to say, awesome nude (WHAT?! it totally does not look like your first one! You should be so proud!) Also, from someone who is also working on improving her drawing, I highly, highly recommend taking a life drawing class or even just going to open life drawing sessions. I got so much better, so much quicker after just a few life drawing classes, and it expands your drawing world way beyond an 8.5×11 page. Anyway keep it up! (and I think your colors look beautiful! 😉

    1. Love your blog, found it so interesting and looking forward to seeing more. It is my first nude in pastel (and therefore colour) but not my first nude. I usually draw in charcoal only. I’m so glad you mentioned the life drawing classes because it has reminded me that I need to do that. Thanks for commenting and hope to see some of your drawings too.

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