Sometimes sketching the human figure feels like wandering through a landscape, plotting the hills and valleys, figuring where to make a mark and what to leave out.
In this charcoal sketch on newsprint, I started at what fascinated me most: the deep shade of where the arm disappeared behind the hip and the body folded as it turned from a more vertical torso into a reclining pose. Soft vine charcoal and finger smudging are meant for each other.
Then I meandered about placing the rest of the figure, relative to my first marks. You can see my charcoal trails as I traverse the page… I’m a big fan of leaving in those first marks: They’re like wrinkles and folds, they tell a story.
And that upturned toe fascinated me, it’s tension echoing and balancing the weight on the arm on the far side of the figure.
Charcoal is such a warm, smudgy, messy, forgiving and moody medium. And working on newsprint means I never feel my drawing is precious.
Happy Figure Friday!