"When you draw nervously you end up with a nervous drawing, so drawing strongly produces lines filled with vitality"- Nightow Yasuhiro 

With every line and stroke of every drawing every picture I try to make it come alive. I had a break-through this week. After a few encouraging words, In some ways I never realized in some aspects I limited myself from certain subjects. So I concentrated focused and the results were not terrible.
 Holding your charcoal can do a lot for your drawing and prevent carpal tunnel!

I avoided clothed figure drawing for the longest time. Just because I never was particularly successful in my attempts. I could barely draw the figure live and to add cloth and clothes was frustrating. In recent years I've been attending figure drawing sessions consecutively for almost for about four years now. On a good week I can attend three 3 hour sessions or normally I average 2 to 1 a week. 
 These were done with references. Nothing wrong with references.

If I hadn't learned anything or improved in all that time or sessions that would of been a disappointment. 

Year Two mark drawing with compressed charcoal

One tool when the majority of people start out is that they tend to not like the medium of compressed charcoal. I admit I wasn't a fan of it, but after practicing it for awhile, one can do a lot with it. Usually compressed charcoal is dark, permanent, and a bit messy. But after gaining some control of the medium, i actually prefer it over charcoal pencil now.

So what I did this week I focused and I tried to make a drawing that flowed well with a figure with clothes on. Sometimes drawing a figure with clothes it will look like the main focus was drawing the figure and clothing was an afterthought. 

Some tools of figure drawing.
Compressed charcoal block

This bad boy is a pain to sharpen but its actually quite fun to draw with. The block is what it looks like when you first get it from the package. 

I burn through certain favorite pencils from time to time. I use a a pencil lengthener or extender to utilize it the max. I'm surprised not many people do not know of this tool. I had to bug the local art store to carry them. 

For kicks these were from my first live figure drawing class. We all start from somewhere. It was a 6 hour class I had to learn endurance!


I remember I had just finished my first year at the local college and I entered into their Annual Spring Art Show. One of the many pieces I entered was a still life of a white ball with primary color cloth around it. The exercise was to prove your ability to see color in the ball besides white.

It doesn't sound much or that visually appealing. But what I noticed is that it stood out and had a life of its own. At that time I was going through some frustrating time as someone I had admired actually was trying to extort me, it troubled me deeply. Somehow I find the story amusing and somewhat comical now, but it was serious subject then.

So during that time I was painting the primary color cloth still life. I painted all my frustrations, anger, and my earnest willingness and hope of future improvement in this piece. I hoped to shine regardless through all my then hardships.

It paid off.
The art show was held in two rooms. And my piece spoke the loudest of them all.  But as soon as you entered the room one would look at my image first and the intensity of it was overbearing. This wasn't an ego trip. People I knew would come up to me and tell me how my artwork would draw attention and be the first one demanded to be seen.

Also one habit I picked up from somewhere if it is a collective art show. One kind of stands near enough to their work within earshot to hear what others say about their piece. And it was unanimous what the majority of people thought about it.

So subsequently as with anything people were jealous of me and saw fit the next year I wasn't invited to the show. Even though it was my last year there. Oh well. Haters gonna hate. I'll shine regardless.


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