This video shows a brief look at my thought process as a I draw a short, 30 minute figure study. The reference is from a New Masters Academy timed figure drawing session.
If you want to read a more in-depth text version, I wrote a full breakdown for this drawing and a head drawing in this month’s Private School Newsletter. Subscribers also got access to a high res handouts to download and study.
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These drawings were done while watching the Daily Life Drawing Session #17 from the New Masters Academy youtube page. The images were timed so it simulates a live life drawing session. The poses are 1 minute (x5), 2 minute (x5), 5 minute (x2) and a 10 minute.
The medium I used are carbothello black pencil, smooth newsprint and kneaded eraser.
Life drawings part 1, 1 minute, 2 minute and a 5 minute pose (lower right)
Life drawings part 2, a 5 minute pose (left) and a 10 minute pose
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These drawings were done while watching the Daily Life Drawing Session #20 from the New Masters Academy youtube page. The images were timed so it simulates a live life drawing session. The poses are 1 minute (x5), 2 minute (x5), 5 minute (x2) and a 10 minute.
The medium I used are ballpoint pen, Strathmore toned paper sketchbook and white carbothello pastel pencil.
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Skin color is one of my favorite things to paint. It’s also one of the most requested topics I’ve encountered. The burning question I hear over and over again from students, friends and artists is: “How can I make a good skin color palette?”
Many artists and students struggle with skin color and rightfully so. Color is an incredibly complex animal that is difficult to control and must be handled with care. This is especially true when trying to paint skin color that feels “real”. Even though color is tough, painting skin can be a lot of fun if you have the right information and the right strategies.
These 5 tips are my thoughts and ideas on the topic of skin color. These tips and strategies I’ve learned through hard earned experience and years of intensive study on color, along with hundreds of hours of painting practice.
Instead of giving you formulas or pre-made skin color palettes, my goal is to teach you how to see color and then show you a process for making your own skin color palette for any situation.
There are 3 main parts to this article. In Part 1, I’ll examine the properties of skin color, or at least how I see skin color at this stage in my painting career. This section will examine what I see when I observe skin and how I simplify the complexity of skin color.
In Part 2, I’ll explore the 5 Tips for mixing and painting better skin color. These are the techniques and strategies that I personally use when I paint.
In Part 3, there are 2 detailed step-by-step painting demonstrations. The first is a study of light skinned male. The second demo is of a dark skinned african female.
A condensed video form of this article , including the first painting demonstration is below.
The second, 1 hour painting demonstration of an African female portrait is available for free on my Private School newsletter page. See image below for the finished painting demonstration.
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If you want a more detailed breakdown of the 5 Tips and both painting demos, scroll down to read the full article…
PART1 – Properties of Skin Color
Property #1 – Red, Yellow, Blue
There is no such thing as a “skin” color. Skin color is essentially a combination of all 3 primaries: red, yellow and blue. That’s right. Red plus yellow plus blue. Sounds obvious and oversimplified, but allow me to elaborate.
My latest course on shading explains how to create realistic lighting using Photoshop. The beautiful part is that the information taught in the course applies to any subject and any medium. The shading techniques course is more than a slick demo or a Photoshop tutorial. It’s core, fundamental principles and concepts of realistic light and shadow.
In this article, I’ll demonstrate how to apply shading techniques to a portrait. See video below for a portrait shading demonstration from a recent ‘Draw With Chris’ Livestream. Photoshop is the medium used in the video. Oil paint is used in the demo for the text version below.
For complete, step by step breakdown, read on…
Portrait Shading Process
STEP 1: Smart observation
The first step is to make careful observation of the subject. In this case we have a female model with beautiful high contrast lighting. This lighting is the best for practicing shading, rendering and edge control. For more on lighting models and choosing reference, see this article on good lighting and choosing good reference.
This image is perfect for studying and practicing shadow because of the beautiful high contrast light. The shadows are nice and dark and clearly defined.
One of the most important concepts to know and understand as a visual artist is that pictures, scenes and still images are arrangements of value; light, dark and gray shapes. It’s these light, dark and gray shapes that the human mind assembles as a cohesive picture.
Being able to see the world as shapes of value, especially colored shapes and objects, is a master skill to cultivate as a visual artist. It’s important to the artist because in order to compose and arrange shapes in our pictures, we must first see and understand their inherent grayscale value.
The most basic and abstract pattern of dark and light shapes (A) is the first ‘read’ the mind makes. This happens on a visceral, almost subconscious level. As more information is processed, like details and color, the mind can then assemble a more refined and sophisticated image (D).
How do we train our eyes to see the world in value? There are some very simple strategies we can use when we observe the world around us. The first step is to learn how to deal with color information.
To see these strategies in action, watch the video below or continue reading for the in-depth breakdown.
This is the handout from the ‘Planes of the Head’ lecture from the Live Concept Art Webinar. There’s also a critique of a student’s homework below. The assignment was to sculpt the simplified ‘Planar Model’. Thank you for all the great homework submissions. To join the live webinar or view past shows, visit the webinar page. Our next meeting will be this Tuesday, 11/13/12 @ 6:30pm.
Simplified Planar Model.
Critique of a student’s homework submission. Great job on the sculpt!