Charcoal Demo 2: Construct with Confidence Part 2

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All right, now that the drawing is totally finished, I want to tell you a few things about the tools that I use, how I shape the tools and get the marks that I make, and specific details about how to finish a drawing. Alright, so let's jump in. In this module, we've been talking about constructing with confidence. And to do that you need at least two things need to understand your drawing fundamentals. And you need to understand your tools. When you have at least those two things, you can launch off with confidence into your drawing and create something beautiful.

So the first thing I want you to look at is in the eyes, I saved my darkest darks for in the eyes because that's where I want you to look. So as an art director, I want to move your eye around the piece. And so I saved my black accents for there. I didn't overuse them everywhere. I want you to go to the eyes first. Then you can see that I spotted Some dark accents around the face.

So you go to the eyes first first read, second read, there's a little black accent here, maybe third read. And then you'll just move around like that. That's art directing the piece. It's something you should be thinking about. And it'll make your pieces a lot more interesting. And give your audience something to come back for because you're, you're giving them that variety of contrast, and variety is the spice of life, right visual variety, keeps people coming back and interested.

The second thing I wanted to point out is that you can still see the orange Reilly rhythm block in that I did, initially, I left it in there, I overstated it, and left it in there so you could see where we came from, right? And where we ended up and how I used that structure to get into the drawing. And that gave me confidence right? To keep going remember doing a drawing is a lot like telling a story. And then the story, you start, you leave home, you get to the middle, it's chaotic. There's a conflict, you don't know what's going to happen.

And then you resolve it, you come back home. And that tension, that tension and release is something the audience enjoys. So, you put that in your guitar solo, right? You have the verse chorus, the solo, you take off, you launch off into this beautiful solo, and you come back home. So you need that structure you need home for the song or the drawing to have any movement, right? It has to have movement has to have contrast.

Big against small light against dark. And so that's what we're trying to do. And that's why it's important to know those fundamentals. All right, now, let me tell you a little bit about the tools. I used vine charcoal, and I'll use a piece of dark gray vine charcoal, that's one of these things sticks, and I'll use that thicker ones too, but I'll basically break it into about a half inch. And I like it just like this.

Sometimes, I'll also sharpen it up to a tapered edge site and get into some really fine points, but it really wears away quickly. So this I don't use a whole lot. It's effective but this I use, this does most of the work for me just broken like this. Now, one thing I learned from a good friend of mine great artists, Robert Valley, he showed me that he shaped off his hunk of charcoal. Charcoal is really tough because if all you have is a hunk of charcoal and it's really black and dirty, you'll get frustrated really quick and you won't like charcoal, but if you know a few things about how to shape the tool, it becomes like a three in one tool. It's it's really awesome because the things you can do with charcoal and express You can get out of this is, is worth doing.

So what I'll do is I'll just wear away one or two sides. And I'll just use a piece of paper, rough surfaces good. And I'll just wear it away that I'll get two sides that kind of conspired to get an edge. I don't know if you can see that but there'll be an edge and then I can take that edge. And I'll do just basic moves, I'll pull basically along the long axis of the tool. So this long axis here, I can create verticals horizontals, diagonals, any which way I want to go, okay, that gives me a chisel fine line.

And then I combine that move with this move, right? You're pulling and pulling out and you get hard edges and soft, so that I need a tool that has a hard edge on one side and a soft On the other, and that right there, and even this just turning the wrist, you can get so much out of these marks right here you'll find this in compression folds and skin. Soft transitions on the cheek, right in the eyelid anywhere where there's compression, and there's a dark, kind of crevice right in the middle. And then it comes out into tone like that. Okay. And also, I just want to be able to get really soft passages.

So I'll wear down either side of this thing on the two outs, the outside parts of the tool, and then I'll use that middle part, right and I can just lay down really nice passages, transitions. Or I can press down a little bit harder, and just get a nice squared off piece like that. Okay, so those are my main moves, basically with this tool. And it all has to do with how you shape it. Right. Let's see how those work.

On the actual drawing. I will try to point out where I did that on the drawing. All right, so in tight areas, like the cheek against the shirt, right. I'll just come in and I'll do this kind of move. Right. It's a little bit different on the tracing paper, but I think you get the idea.

So it goes from dark shadow into halftone. Just like that. Right now there's this part of the cheek, of the rhythm of the mouth, right going into the side of the cheek. I did dig in and pull out, right? The cheek rolling away from the light. So it's in the light rolling away and then dark shadow.

You know, I just come in like that, right? And that's it. Right, just get these nice little patterns and then I can come in and chisel out, you know, corners, if I need to, I can use the pencil for that right charcoal pencil or carb fellow to get in if I need to reinforce an edge, especially on cast shadows, right. And then to fix something. I'll use this portfolio which is a paper, tapered paper and I'll just come in and maybe clean some things up, right. So that I can kind of just come in, drag that tool.

Fill in the dark All right, clean up an edge if I need to, with my needed rubber eraser, right, I use that a lot. Or my plastic eraser that I can cut with an Exacto into, you know, a chisel part edge and then just come in and hit that so it's just really a nice chisel edge in the hair. Okay, let's look at that. Okay. It's basically just setting up a tone. Right like that, and then working the edges.

So you'll have a tone here, highlight in the middle, and then I'll just pull a few edges just like that. And one side and then on the other artists come out into the highlight area and just pull a few strands of hair. Right and that'll get me the really good suggestion of hair, right and just using kind of like a wave. It's like a wave. Right, I can do that in here. One more time.

Let's show you on this orbit of I, I just dig in and then dark into a very soft edge. So firm edge to a soft edge, even here. On the super orbital into the forehead, just lift off, right, like you use my finger to clean or soften an edge right? And so I have confidence because I know the tool, I've shaped the tool and I know the marks that I'm going to make and how they work. Now another thing, important thing is that this tool, you works really well at scale. So at a almost life size head, about the size of my hand, I know that this one inch piece of fine charcoal is going to work well in this area because I can pretty much you know, it fits it's like a width of an eye, right?

It's like an eyes with and so it fits a lot of the features that I'll be working with at this scale. Now, if I was working on a 20 foot wide wall 20 by 20 while doing a mirror mural, this would just reduce down to just a line. It wouldn't work, right I couldn't put in mass in any value or big enough. passes big value passes. Because just too small. So, here though, it's fairly big, and I can, I can sort of start to get these land, big value passages, fields of value pretty quick.

Right? So this works well with the pencil at this scale. And that's another thing kind of to add to it. So, you know, if I'm working bigger, you know, I might want a bigger hunk of vine charcoal, right? Something like that. That's going to give me a lot like a big paintbrush.

And I would be working bigger if I used that. Okay, one more thing. So we've talked about the structure, the rally rhythm lay in, and then how that helps to define the planes and where to put the shadows and then the shadows and edges make sense, put the core shadows, and it reads well, but there's this other stuff around here. They're like flourishes, they're bold marks, almost like brushstrokes. That's like your guitar solo, right? That's your exciting Acrobat on the high wire.

I can do this stuff because the setup the trunk, the home part of the story, the familiar part is well done. And it's, it's there, it's strong. And then I can go and do just these kind of marks that are almost random, and they're exciting. They provide movement for the piece, right. Some of them are just scribbles. Some of them are a little bit more hard edged and structured.

And then you have the Lost and Found edge. So you've got a foundation. Right, it's very crisp and clear. And then it gets lost up in here. Right? And then it's found again, and lost and found and I just play that game.

It's a lost and found game that variety. Visual variety is the spice for your viewer. Right? It creates interest. So visual variety creates interest. So you want to bring that into your piece and use it where you can.

It's just lost and found edges, hard edges, soft edges, lost edges. Okay, that's that very simple. So I hope that helped. I think that's about it. And we will see you in the next video.

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