5 minute sketches to find a pose

Leaning on hand to distort features… not sure I could maintain the pose and draw!

Sideways view from drawing position is interesting and practical, even if it results in an extra chin!

A2, 8B graphite stick on found “leather”-textured paper.

Quite happy with this, I struggled a bit with the furthest away side of the face where it meets the hair in the background, these tones are too dark and give the appearance of a deliberate outline drawn around the forehead. The textured paper caused an issue around the tip of the nose when it caught and pulled my graphite stick to the left. A bit Pinnochio-like, but I didn’t want to risk smudging the picture by trying to lift it off with putty or an eraser. I do have prominent cheekbones with relatively dark shadow underneath, but I could have been more subtle with the treatment of that. Otherwise I achieved a good likeness.

I hadn’t used colour for a while so decided to use soft pastels for the second image and went smaller, back to 30cm x 30cm. I wanted another try at the receding side of the face so I sat up straighter and used a similar pose.

I showed my inexperience with the medium and approached the piece as I would a painting, laying down shadows first. I then learned that the pale pastels are not strong enough to sit over them to the extent I assumed they would. However, I still quite like the effect and the finished drawing is quite ‘painterly’.

I’m really pleased with the nearest eye; it is exactly as I see myself. Unfortunately, the receding side of the face is even less successful this time than in the graphite drawing, not least because the eye is too high (my right eye is higher than my left) . The nose is right this time, but the mouth is too small even after I made it bigger once, giving a slightly mean expression. Apart from the nearest eye and cheek, and the nose, this isn’t as good a likeness as the graphite drawing.


I decided to try again with the pastels and not lay shadows down first. I also went back up to A2 size. The skin tones were more realistic but the furthest side of the face is even worse this time, and the piece has a cartoon quality. Irritating. Finishing the hair seemed pointless. I have written in my OCA folder on the assignment piece page – “eye levels!!”

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