Thursday, February 18, 2010

Prud'hon - Lesons in light - a cool technique

I just discovered Pierre Paul Prud'hon's charcoal technique, from a website ( where another artist, Rebecca Alzofon, had analysed his technique and offered a lesson on her interpratation.

Isn't the Interweb ;-) wonderful?  You can learn soo much!

Well here is my attempt to follow Rebecca's lesson - I started it at 10 PM last night and only spent a couple hours on it, but I liked working on it.  This is a technique that can be built on to get beautiful results that glow with light.  I used the subject in her lesson, so that I could gauge how well I was following instructions.

"After Alzofon" 2010
6 in x 9 in, charcoal and white charcoal on blue Canson paper

I learned a lot with this lesson - the biggest thing being to keep going!  This drawing starts out soo ugly - a mishmash of large very loose hatch marks that look quite childish - but rapidly statrs to build and transform into a very 3D  soft representation. 

You have to be very gentle with the stomp - charcoal is so messy, and the white charcoal very quickly disappears into the background if you're not careful.

As you can see I had trouble with the face and the cloth, but hey - it's my first attempt - and it was quite small.  I feel that with some practice and a larger scale of drawing I could improve on those areas.

I particularly like that Prud'hon left large hatch marks on the finished product.  I'm not as bold as he was, but I did leave some.  The juxtaposition between the 'finished' and 'unfinished' areas (smooth vs hatched) is quite dynamic, and can be used to focus the viewer's eye.  That makes the painting very interactive.  And that's what we want, afterall, isn't it?  That the viewer lingers on the artwork, and absorbs it.

I urge you to try out Rebecca's lesson - even if it is simply to gain a new experience - it's quite fun, and who knows - you may like it :-)

Until next time - keep creating!


No comments:

Post a Comment