Saturday, June 23, 2007

Drawing a Head: 21st June 2007

Drawing a Head 21st June 2007
14" x 10" pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils on Lyndhurst cartridge paper
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Having done pen and ink drawings for the last couple of weeks I thought I'd try adding coloured pencil very much in the way I do when out sketching (as you can see in Travels with a Sketchbook).

Do you think I'm going through my 'blue period'? My excuse is she was backlit and wearing a lilac cardigan. I find it so much more rewarding to draw heads that have a full range of values. I can't think of anything more boring now than trying to draw a head which has 'full on' lighting and no shadows. I find I'm generally looking for no more than 10-20% highlights and about the same in deep shadow with the rest of the face having a lot of variation in the tonal values. I find I'm always drawing shapes and tones rather than features.

This took about 80 minutes as I skipped out of class early having had a very long day in central London in a meeting (about an exciting project!) and sketching in the National Gallery (of which more tomorrow). I did a full pen and ink drawing first - of the sort seen in previous weeks and then changed to the coloured pencils. Despite the apparent emphasis on blues and lilacs there's actually quite a lot of pale olive green in this. Click on the image to see a larger version which shows more of the detail.

The Lyndhurst paper loves this particular combination of media and I think I may need to get a smaller pad and try sketching with it when I want to do larger plein air sketches. The only problem with the pad is it has a soft back and I prefer not to have to carry a drawing board if I can help it.

For those new to this blog, you can see more drawings from previous classes in my website gallery devoted to Drawing People...and Artists.


  1. Katherine, I always like going along on your excursions. Thanks. You have a great touch with your pencils.

  2. Very lovely and like Jo, I like "going with you" on your excursions whether it is inside or outside.

  3. The colours are particularly lovely in this one, Katherine. Beautiful portrait.


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