In the last post I mentioned I'd be showing a lot more of the progress of things. Here's a description step by step of the previous drawing.

I find it a little scary whenever I think to myself "I want to make a nicely rendered, full body, full value drawing". Even more so when I choose a medium that I rarely use.

In the first image, I'm tentatively mapping out the values using powdered charcoal, starting with the largest areas of tone. These areas include her left leg in the foreground and her hair which covers much of her right side. 

I could have done more of this between steps 2 and 3 which would have saved time later on. In step 2 I've started to work on form, establishing shapes that make up the body of hair; head, neck and her legs.

In step 3 I start to work on her mid-section, continuing with lines using charcoal pencil.

Step 4. Having mapped out the entire frame, overlooking much of the detail for now, I'm thinking about lifting out the light tones and where the light is coming from. It helps to think about light and dark, even when working from photographs, it helps us see our tones more clearly and how they help to build form. Because I work from photographs I have to second-guess if the reference is not my own. I'm looking for areas where the light hits the surface at a right angle. These include her left leg, left arm, all four fingers on her right hand and the left side of her face and neck etc. 

Step 5. Always the scariest moment in a drawing. Having layed down some more powder to indicate the eyes, nose and mouth (which I should have done already) I start work on the face.

There's quite a leap from 5 to 6. I've started work on the smallest areas of tone - local values - some with hard edges others with soft edges. I've also finished drawing out the hand and started adding detail to the shirt. At this stage however, I'm really not happy with the face.

The picture above is a detail from between steps 7 and 8. It's a point throughout the whole process of the drawing where I was most happy with the face. In step 7 a lot of the face has been redrawn, such as the left eye and the area around the eye and the shaping of the mouth. It's starting to look more like a finished drawing. Only thing left is to work on the hair and any finishing touches.

In step 8 I'm looking at an almost finished drawing. However, there needs to be a background and I erased too much of the dark from the hair. In short, there doesn't look like there is enough contrast in the composition and so the next step is what you see in the previous post!

I hope this was interesting enough, I'm going to do more charcoal drawings as I don't use it anywhere near as often as I should.

Until next time... Thanks for reading.

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