- Lesson details
In this video lesson, world-famous artist and instructor Glenn Vilppu demonstrates how to draw the female figure on toned paper using graphite, two kinds of white, and a soft sanguine conté crayon pencil. You will learn how to start with a loose gesture and construct simple forms on top that gesture. Glenn will also show you how to work with the core shadow and reflected light, eventually applying a sharp graphite line to tighten up the contours for a powerful effect.
- Canson Toned Paper
- Staedler Graphite Pencil – HB
- Conté Sketching Pencil – Sanguine, White
- Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencil – White
- Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencil – White
- Kneaded Eraser
- Paper Stump
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demonstrates how to draw the female figure on toned paper using graphite.
You will learn how to start with a loose gesture, two kinds of white,
and a soft sanguine Conté crayon pencil. Glenn will also show you
how to work with the cool shadow and reflected light, eventually applying
a sharp graphite line to tighten up the contours for a powerful effect.
drawing I'm gonna be working on toned paper.
First let me just say a little bit about the paper. This is canson paper
and I generally actually work on what is considered
the wrong side. They're two sides.
There's the textured side and the smooth side. I prefer to work on the
smooth side. Mainly because I
tend to go for a much sharper line
in a sense in a little bit more detail. Okay what I'm
drawing with are there's a variety of things possibly here.
Conté crayon, graphite pencil,
these are three different kinds of white. I will
probably be using the Conté white. This is
a Faber-Castell white.
It makes a sharper line.
You can't push it around as much. And this is a CarbOthello
white. Now the Carbothello
tends to be pretty good. You can push it around. The Conté tends to
have a little bit more body to it. Okay.
Now then of course a kneaded eraser and possibly a stump.
Now as I do the drawing I'm gonna start
first and do, as I've done in some of the other
things, demonstrations now, I'm gonna start first
with just a very, very, very simple lay in
by using graphite. And
I use the graphite and I keep it
very, very loose.
By taking and using it as a way
of placing the lay in of the drawing.
Also often if you look at the
many of the other demonstrations I've made,
I use it to create a tone
within the drawing. Now first thing you focus on is
really, everything is dealing with the gesture.
Blocking in very, very simple forms.
Coming through, feeling the leg coming across. So
and as I'm doing this at the same time very rudimentary
kind of construction. In other words I'm dealing with - as you can see I'm taking and
coming in and indicating a rough idea
of cylinders. Coming through.
At this point I can see that where
I'm at with the figure.
Now, because I'm not
gonna go very far with this graphite
really just placement, thinking of the volume, coming
through, feeling the flow. Notice that I
do a lot of drawing in the air. This is really like I'm, really the idea
of feeling. I'm really feeling the way
the forms go.
This is a contrary type thing. And contrary to
a more academic approach where the emphasis
is on the measuring. As you notice I'm
doing really very little or no measuring.
But I am taking - I check across, I do look vertically
at the forms. I'm going through
the feeling part is my eye goes through the figure and
sort of hand eye coordination thing.
Now I'm gonna go back, start working with the Conté.
Now, when I do this, i start out again, very lightly.
I have a very light touch.
in the drawing.
Really the drawing
will be built up.
Now, I said I'm gonna be working with white.
in working with the white, you have to -
going to be a way to avoid
getting the white and the red
or Conté, sanguine, taking and
getting mixed together. You end up with a very
sort of a pinkish tone
which is not, at least for me, is not something
very desirable. You may like
it. I don't care for it.
Remember, there aren't any rules. And
so as you're going through, constantly be going over the surface.
Feeling the volume
wrapping around. You can see now how I
rehearse the lines before I put them down.
So I'm constantly going over the surface.
A lot of times for the beginning it's hard
to take and actually - which seems sort of ironic in some sense
is that it's hard to take and go over the drawing without
actually putting any marks down.
Generally the beginner overworks drawings. They get too
dark too fast. You need to be able to
control your values.
So that you're taking and slowing. Now the figure
actually has got the feet behind and
off the ground so that we have to keep in mind that we need to
indicate a shadow underneath to take and show that the figure
legs are off the ground.
Coming through. Now
in mentioning the shadow, I don't necessarily
pay a lot of attention to
preciseness of all of the lights
the light that I see. I am more
interested in these overall effect of the drawing. I wouldn't go
for the total. So that's really the critical part.
So now and as you can see as I'm going through
this things now. Those graphite lines I put down, granted they were very
light to start with, but they are essentially
disappearing. Come back
trying to feel the arm pushing
in. The shoulder out a bit more.
Notice my lines, I make most of my lines are going with the direction
of the pencil.
Not that I don't use the side but generally I don't.
As I'm working at the drawing,
I find it useful and trying to develop tone I will.
Now, I've got sort of a first lay in.
Now what I'm gonna come through is to try to take and help develop that
gesture by working with the core.
In other words the core being that tone
in between the direct light and the reflected light.
So as I'm coming through.
Notice that I'm keeping the core
as a relatively
We use the sharp tone is used
with the cast shadow. Okay what I'm doing here
so now you can see that I'm coming down and really defining
the form here, working with the corner. But also I wanna take and as I'm doing
this I'm pulling with the gesture.
as we take and develop this, you're going to see here I'm
using a really sharp cast shadow,
going over so you can see I've barely
gotten a tone going around the outside edge, or I should say the core
and then essentially I'm defining
the form using the core going down the middle I have
two contours, although I develop the contour
not by copying
the contours but creating a contour
by taking and drawing the form. So this is
a step in the process
here using a bit of a cast shadow here going over.
here again a sharp
Over the surface. Now I'm leaving
most of the shadow area
color of the paper. I'm using the paper as a
essentially a middle value within
the drawing. And this will become
more obvious when I take and start working with the light.
So coming through.
As I work with the core I try to
not make it as such a harsh line. One of the difficulties
again that the beginner has often working with the core
that he makes the core, or she - he or she makes the core
a hard line. Notice I'm
making the end of the knee a little bit stronger.
A little more of an accent to it.
We can take and do a little bit
And picking up the core, coming down the side of the chin.
The cast shadow coming
underneath. Now I will use the reflected light, for instance here
notice I'm defining the underside
of the chin by using a tone
on the neck so that it's the reflected light
and describes the plane underneath.
We can use the cast shadow going over
form coming through.
Now I'll start to pull some of the
darks into the hair.
Now in this drawing
I'm being pretty straight with just using
one color, or I should say two colors, the white.
In other lessons I'll take and
do more of working on the tone
paper but using three colors. Coming through. Now here
we get a contrast of the cast shadow. The cast shadow here
is gonna take and help to define the way we can
come down the biceps, coming through.
I use the core coming around, which I can
already did. Push it a little bit more on the outside
Feel a little bit of the shape of the triceps coming down.
So you can see how quickly this drawing is taking shape.
So it's a very economical
way of working. Essentially you just -
you're working, you create the contours and then
you come back in and use the core primarily to
take and develop the form.
Now we've gotta start.
Going through here.
Now I'm gonna come back in and start working with the wipe.
Now I'm gonna use the Conté white.
Now many different ways of going
on this. I tend to take and work with it as
a cross hatching type thing where I'm going over the surface.
I'm gonna pull, I'll take and push
corners of the bone, a little stronger.
I leave the color of the paper
as an intermediate tone in
and where your highlights or the center of the form would be.
You can see now I'm being very, very, very subtle about this.
Now I may go back
into this. I'm - with the
carbothello tends to be a little bit more chalky.
And as I do this I'm gonna
also be taking and
going back with the sanguine.
And start building up the forms a bit more.
going behind, looking for the corners of the bone.
Lifting the clavicle.
I'm constantly and literally just drawing anatomy.
And the way I build the form up of course
you can see becomes obvious I'm not copying the model.
I take my hint from the model but
I'm not copying and if I like the light the way
it is I'll use it, if I don't I'll change it.
There's nothing sacred about a particular
pose. For instance if the photographer came in and
saw the pose, nine out of ten he would take
and they start moving the lights around.
Okay I'm gonna take and
just to show you contrast here with the white.
This is the carbothello and I think this will work with
there we go, a little bit more, gives it a little bit more oomph
Okay that's more in the direction
I want to go with it. Now I'm gonna go back in with the Conté.
being a lot sharper.
Pushing the tone a bit more.
The contrasts, cast shadow.
Feel the forms coming out from behind.
So here we really want to feel the pinching
that takes place. So going over,
through the form,
pull out the hip.
Wanna feel the edge of the bone
and I really now start to push
tones a lot stronger. Coming through.
And here I can emphasize the
actual the movement as we start
to go through I'm trying to feel across the form.
You wanna feel the line, I'm picking up
the rhythm, come through
again notice that I'm doing very little into the shadow
side. Essentially leaving it alone
and using the core to give us
the feeling of the reflected light,
the cast shadow capturing the light,
what would be the reflected light in between the tones
of the cast shadow and the core.
I generally take and do
is to take and incorporate tones
within the space around the figure into the drawing.
So if I want to
take and say emphasize this gesture,
the rhythm that's being indicated here, as I come through.
Feel the pull
over the surface.
I will take and going across.
I may start to pick up tones back here
to take and create that movement.
This is a fairly fast
Maybe in one of the later
demonstrations I'll take and do a drawing where it requires
several different recordings.
to take and build the drawing up.
It's coming through.
Around, we go around, over the surface.
Feel the end coming around the corner.
Feel it overlapping
Now this is a, this is Conté.
It's a fairly soft media.
So you will see that when I'm working with
the polychromos, we'll say the black or the sanguine
I will go into much, much more detail
with the form.
Now here is a good example, I'll take and
push the core
in here. In other words notice that it's a
a broad tone. But then get the contrast between that
and the cast shadow. That will take and give
a stronger sense of
reflected light as we go through the form.
Okay same thing here as we come down underneath,
accents underneath the figure
in conjunction with the core.
Artists that you can look at who work this way
is look at the drawings of
Rubans. Also Watteau. Watteau was very,
very much actually influenced by
Rubans. He actually
was a good friend of his, good friend of Watteau's
was a collector of Rubans drawings.
And Watteau spent time with him and really had an
opportunity to see a lot of the original
Rubans drawings, where he worked
using three colors. In other words three colors
sanguine, and black.
And that also you could maybe even say four
colors because often there was a graphite
go back and push a little bit more.
And go back in and
underneath, hitting accents,
showing the twisting is coming from behind
along the chin and
then the cast shadow being created
that helps to take and give the
form to the
neck itself then. Or the jaw.
In other words showing, using the core, and the
reflected light, the reflected light becomes the means
of taking and defining forms
in the shadow area.
we've gone through,
well let's finish going down through the arm here.
We've gone through the figure several times now so you notice what I do
is I don't focus just on one area,
I keep building the drawing
and after I go through the arm here and pushing this a bit
stronger I will take and go back in with the white
and I also
can - and again this is something
that again unless you're looking at original
you really don't consciously
be aware of it, that often the artist will
go back in and use the very, very, very sharp
line to go around the outside and
and to really define the form. You can see this
even with the drawings, some of the Michelangelo paintings even
where you can see there's a very, very, very sharp line
takes and delineating the form and really
giving it a sharpness.
A three dimensional sculptural -
which of course he was a sculptor.
Look to the drawing. So now, let's go back in with the white
again. You really start to lay into this to
give it a bit more.
feel the flow that's being created now.
A little bit of that
pink I don't care for very much.
Now I could go back in and
probably use a kneaded eraser and take some of that
Really pushing now the movement.
come up to the clavicle.
Now this, like I say, this is really
quite a fairly fast drawing.
I've been doing this for over 30
minutes. Now I am gonna take and I wanna show you
what happens now when you take and work. Now this is going back with the graphite.
Also notice that almost all of the graphite lines that I had
underneath that have disappeared. They're not part of the drawing now.
But if we take and go back in,
it gives the sharpness and I can take and play a little bit
of taking and trying to see the overlapping forms a bit.
this is an effect that often -
and I particularly myself I like the
contrast between a very, very sharp
line and a soft forms
as we create them.
Now let me show you another little trick here. Okay we got the Conté.
Okay we've got one value going with the Conté.
Now if you wet the Conté, it makes a darker, more
intense tone. Now I'm just sticking to some of my time.
you see the dark that I create.
See how much darker that is than the tone on the other side.
So just using a little bit of moisture.
You can take and it gives you another range
of values that you're working with.
One little dip in the mouth goes a long way.
So if anybody
wanted to recreate my DNA, they could get it
from this drawing.
I'm not sure why they'd wanna do that but...
it's a lot of intensity coming up in the drawing now and
here let's take and push this tone on the outside a bit more.
And even to create a
bit of a sense of a ground plane.
So I can take and pull,
pulling this tone through, possibly even picking up
a bit back here, with just lines.
But they make the drawing have a bit more movement.
to it. And
A little bit more dense tone in the hair.
So let's go back in with the
graphite some more.
also be doing the same
thing with a pen.
This is a - I had an opportunity a couple of
years ago of looking at a lot of the original Rubens drawings
and it's quite surprising to find how
how often they would take and come in
and actually add pen
ink to a
chalk drawing. Particularly
even in portraits to sharpen up
let's say the eyes.
Line of the mouth. When you see the original
they actually tend to jump. Where in
reproduction you're not so conscious of them. But in
looking at the original, they really stick out.
Now notice I vary how heavy
handed I am with that line. A lot of variety.
In the line.
Now that's pretty strong. I am not sure if I like that
As you're hearing
I tend to be rather critical
about my own drawings.
As a teacher I'm always of course taking,
I try to instruct but I
showing, showing how
the student can make the drawings better.
Well let's see if we
need to maybe we can push some of this
Looking for a consistency
in the drawing in terms of the light.
Okay I think that's enough for this drawing.
Future drawings I
will take and combine
some other elements as I'm doing the drawing. Working with
black, also I have several different approaches
that very possibly you've never even seen.
Okay, now in doing this drawing
I use, show how to use
several different kinds of white. Working in sanguine
Conté crayon, and even graphite.
In terms of taking and building up the drawing.
Starting out very, very loose gesture, then constructing
the forms and at that point then taking and building
up with the Conté, taking and working with the core
and the reflected light, take and define the forms.
How I'm using a graphite pencil to take and come through and sharpen up
some of the contours. But going from very
loose, general gesture to a more