Charcoal Changeup

So I busted out the charcoals again. I love my charcoals almost as much as I love my Sharpies and I need to bring them out more often. I feel like they help me to get back to basics. Their simple nature belies their versatility. You can create all sorts of values and textures.. lighting effects. There’s really no end to what you can accomplish with them. Plus their simple, monochromatic nature forces you to think in the most basic terms of light vs dark. The eternal push and pull.

So.. i busted them out to give myself a little mental refresher. I’ve been painting a lot lately. Working on the same projects. I’ve got three in the works and they’re all of Des Moines. I needed to start incorporating some variation to my studio sessions for fear I was going to get burnt out on painting. I started with some quick studies to loosen up. We used to do that sort of thing at the beginning of every drawing class I took at UNI. We’d begin every studio class with 10-15 minutes of “gesture drawings”. That means we’d get volunteers from the class to pose and we’d do several 1-2 minute drawings to loosen up. Like stretching your muscles before a workout. I haven’t quite gone back into doing that, but I did grab some photos I’ve been considering and drew up some 15minute sketches. Not only is this a good exercise to get you relaxed and in the right frame of mind, but it’s a good way to play with variations of composition, texture, and line in a non-committal sort of way.

I made the decision to start working with my charcoals again for another reason. While working on GuideOne Interactive Mural project I’d been doing a lot of sketches and studies. I also produced a number of very nice-looking charcoal pieces. Also I’ve been talking with my friend, Brent Houzenga who’s been making a foray into working in ballpoint pen (another personal favorite drawing tool). It inspired me to start creating more and adding them to my inventory of sale-able works. I love the way a good charcoal piece looks when it’s framed up nicely They’re so simple and direct. Plus I can create a finished piece in hours instead of weeks. The immediacy is cathartic. Not to mention it gives me more work to offer in the long run.

Until next time



One response to “Charcoal Changeup”

  1. Echo Avatar

    Very energetic sketches!!

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