I thought it would be fun to put up a few of the figure drawings I do each week with Susan and a few local artists. Some are quick studies in china marker (anywhere from two minutes per pose up to five minutes) while others are charcoal or conte crayon from seven to twenty-five minutes per pose. I just do these on the standard smooth sketch pads you find in any art stores (just make sure that the paper is acid free so they won't yellow and deteriorate over time). For most of the more finished charcoal drawings I do as studies for paintings, I usually work on the Strathmore brand of sketch pads since the paper is thicker and you can work and rework things over and over without exhausting the paper. For more finished charcoal drawings I work mostly on smoother watercolor paper, watercolor board, or the smooth side of pastel paper, which I find sturdier than the charcoal papers. But there are so many types that I'd just say experiment until you find the one that clicks with your own style!
We used to do such quick sketches all the time in Chicago and started up again here in North Carolina about six months ago. It's so nice having some local artists join us, both for the socializing and just for the extra drawing practice once a week. We draw for three hours starting off with one minute poses and working our way up to 25 minute poses. I like to use China Markers because they are easy to sharpen and they don't smudge. We learned how to do quick sketches in school from Mr. Parks. He always stressed to have a very sharp point and to press down as gently as possible until you've established the correct placement. As you get more of the figure down and you have the proportions right you can press a little harder making a beautiful line. I enjoy using charcoal for the longer poses using a kneaded eraser to lift out the lights. I've just started using conte the last six months and really like it, although you can't erase it much. I've been inspired to try this medium after seeing some incredible drawings from Nicolai Fechin and George Carlson.
Each page is 24" by 18"
All material on this website, Copyright 2007 Scott Burdick and Susan Lyon