Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Max Hale - portraits in charcoal

I couldn't resist the temptation: this sketch of Max captures a moment in his demonstration as he answered a question. This is not  charcoal and it's not really creative art as it only reproduces an element of a photograph taken while he was in full flow.

Max used vine charcoal (made from willow twigs) for portraits of two LAS members. Thank you to our sitters, Jane and Tony.

Max achieved a subtlety of tone that I hadn't realised was possible in charcoal - all achieve with just three methods: pressure of application, blending with the finger and erasing with a plastic eraser.

For more information about Max's art and the workshops he runs, visit his website

The pictures that follow show progress with both portraits. Artist  and photographer had a different viewpoints of the sitters.

Jane fixes her eye on a reference point so she can return to the pose after rest breaks

After a quick outlining of the shape of the head, Max begins to add some values

More value added behind the head

Values and highlights beginning to shape the hair

Notice the values on the shady side of the face

Gradually taking shape

You don't need to draw hairs

Beginning to define the mouth. "That's how we recognise people."

Nearly there

Finishing touches


Small images at top right show a line through brow and filtrum so you can assess how much nose and chin protrude

The arm of the specs gives the ear position

Specs only need to be indicated

erasing some values behind the head suggest three dimensionality

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