I got off to a quick start with this drawing. I managed to get the block-in completed quickly, although I struggled somewhat with the length of the legs and the proportions of the head. Having got those aspects sorted out I laid in a general shadow tone, very lightly at first. After keying the darkest dark (the area in the hair around the nape of the neck) I then darkened all of the shadow area starting from that point and working 'south'.
The most difficult areas of this drawing were the abdomen and the area around the shoulders and sternum. I found it rather tricky to get the right level of anatomical information without overstating things and breaking the unity of effect.
Overall, I'm very pleased with the drawing, which has a nice sense of gesture and form. The two areas which I feel let the drawing down slightly are the hands and feet. I left these areas until the last day but ran out of time to bring them to a complete resolution.
This cast drawing of a nymph by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux was completed in early 2015. I worked on the drawing over a period of about two months. There are a number of aspects to the cast which make it rather a tricky subject. The smile was probably the biggest challenge. It is mischievous, but cheerful rather than sinister. It isn't entirely a broad grin either - there is a slight hint of hesitancy or expectation to it. It took many hours of extremely subtle observations and adjustments to the shapes to bring it to a point that I was happy with.
It is the softness of the features of the cast that make it so captivating, but this also makes it difficult for the artist. It is almost as though the cast was carved in ice which has melted slightly. This is particularly noticeable in the teeth and the eyes, which have very specific yet soft shapes. The key to tackling this was to focus heavily on the transitions between shapes - keeping even the hardest edge somewhat soft. The cast also had a very slight shine to its surface, which I wanted to capture, without making it look chrome-plated.
I had cautioned myself early on in the drawing not to neglect the base - figuring that that could make or break the drawing. As it turned out, by happy accident, this area was one of the easiest parts, and it reached a resolution without putting up too much of a fight.