Long time no blog. But maybe I’m back in the game now that October’s over – I don’t know whether it was the transition of the seasons, or the half-term holiday, but I just haven’t been feeling like sketching recently.
However, I hope that’s all over now. When looking for some mount board recently I got my eye on this blue board, with a view to trying a charcoal/chalk portrait. I wasn’t fussed about who, which is just as well, as it ended up being me again. Funny how I keep being on hand to model when I want to sketch people…
I tried to keep the palette restricted, and ended up using charcoal (as planned), plus white and blue conte crayons. I dived straight in without any guidelines or prep, which goes a little way towards explaining why some of the elements didn’t end up quite as they should be. I was trying to concentrate mainly on higlights and shade, without too much faffing with the mid-tones. I’m not sure I’ve achieved this. The camera has, as usual, emphasised the whites more than is evident in the original, so what you see here isn’t quite how it looks in reality.
Interestingly, the sketch didn’t turn out to have the strong charcoal lined quality I’d imagined when I set out, probably due to the fact that I kept rubbing lines out with my fingers, leading to a smoother, slightly more contoured texture than I’d hoped for. On the plus side, I think that my previous self-portrait practices in pastels have really helped me today, particularly when it comes to speed of working, which feels like progress.