At the Atelier School of Classical Realism, we’ve graduated from using only charcoal and white chalk. We’ve added a third chalk: red-hued sanguine. Boy, what a difference! With charcoal, white chalk, sanguine, and the toned paper, we’re actually working with four colors, and it’s amazing how many variations in value and hue we can mix.
At the bottom left of the drawing above, you can see my value chart. Working out your values before you start adding tone is absolutely the way to go. It doesn’t pay to be lazy in this regard; you’ll end up either working harder in the end, or just giving up on the drawing.
This drawing was done in about 3.5 hours, and with this limited amount of time (we do lo-o-o-ng poses in this class. I’ve worked on drawings up to 15-20 hours, so 3.5 hours was brief for me) I chose to do a study of a neck because Rob had just given us a terrific lecture on how to stick the head on the torso (always an important thing!) and I wanted to try out his ideas.
The key to getting the head on right is placing the neck properly. And the key to placing the neck is to think of it as a column emerging from top of the torso.
Sounds simple, but it’s not.