Kenny at work

This post will illustrate how a drawing develops in stages. The above drawing of chef Kenny preparing meals at Table To Stix Ramen was done while I ordered & dined on a delicious bowl of pork belly ramen and a desert of green tea ice cream. It began as you see below, with a quick sketch in a gray Pitt Pen while chef was at the ramen pot.

Sketch of K

The skeleton of the image is established quickly and light enough to make amendments that will be incorporated into the drawing as contours and tones get strengthened and become more definitive.

Since Kenny is moving, I worked on the foreground, the counter, the plates, the hot water dispenser, until Kenny would return to tend boiling ramen. Back and forth, as he moves, I develop him and the space around him.

Below, four stages of the same four hour drawing done on two days at the same time both days so I would have consistent lighting. The basic structure of the train overpass is set down before I develop the variables such as shadows, clouds, and trees or the textures on the walls and pavement.

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In the following two nude studies, it is relatively how the figures were drawn with contour lines using lighter values,mind then developed by building shadows and adding highlights.

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The four preceding drawings all began with a lighter value followed by darker values to sharpen features and create contrast between skin and clothing or that develope special allusions. The brown drawing of a man drinking from a cup begins with an either/or distinction between light and shade and then a second application of ink deepens tones so that an ear and the shape of his hair becomes evident. Further steeps in that direction  will ” flesh out” the character of your subject.

The following drawing were from a still productive steel maker in Cleveland.

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All drawings were executed with pigmented pens, some fountain pen but predominantly Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Brush Pens. The white was either a Pitt Pen White or a white grease pencil. The papers were Yasatomo, Strathmore toned paper, Clairefontaine, and various ledger books. With the exception of the bald dude with the dark eyes, all other drawings were drawn from life.

Further examples of how a drawing develops can be found on a July 3rd post from 2015 titled Appropriate Distraction. You’ll find that easily on this blog’s site map.

Below are more examples of the strategies employed above. One is from my imagination, the rest are observed. One of the inherent benefits of drawing from life in dynamic conditions such as the cluster of heads inside a movie theater just before the lights go down, is that you’re forced to avoid dawdling and redrawing contours several times. The practice ushers out timidity and procrastination, relaxes an over emphasis on being exact and builds confidence.

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The Progression

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