Tagoil pastel

Ted Castle

Spent the day focusing on oil pastel and pencil. Some excellent results and collaboration with the kids.

I wanted to produces some landscape/building designs for Teds environment. So far I’ve created several character models – and weird shapes. Needs some environments!

Here are two works from Thursday -



Georgette Monday Cloth

Georgette was the model on Monday. I found my 8b chunk of graphite so used that – especially helpful for warming up. Oil pastel was also used throughout the day, and plenty of dragon killing during breaks.

Next week will be the final week.The theme was clothed, which I wasn’t expecting. I’ve never been a fan of clothed model sessions. In nude I trust. I’d be interested drawing costumes but I felt the cloth that Georgette was using just covered her body and didn’t add anything. Disappointed.

That aside I tried to make the most of the model

No colored pencil. Instead using oil pastel for the tone. Oil pastel is fantastic, it spreads quickly and doesn’t smudge or cause problems.

I’ve been playing Skyrim. Good times.

Dan noticed these and said they were really working. The figure on the left is looking too muddy, I don’t like it.

I really wanted to practice techniques like this. Capture full body, and using tone fill in lights and darks. Typical color scheme

Strong portraits. Must be that pratice from Saturday night. Cmpletely different style then the portraits. This is my favourite work of the day.

For the last part of the day the model hid areas of her body behind a sheet with light behind. This cauesed an interesting shadow effect.

The drawing on the right is drawn from imagination. I’d like to practice further with recalling poses and such from memory.

Not as much life drawing as normal, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

Charcoal Colorzz – Friday model


Life drawing. Lorraine was the model. I had her for a model last weekend so it was great to have her again on Friday.

I didn’t use any graphite today, instead a charcoal pencil.  Got it in the morning on Friday – It’s been a long time since I’ve brought a new media so thought I’d give it a go.

Charcoal pencil is 4b – Soft. I’d rather a harder charcoal, maybe HB? Might check French Art Shop or Gordan Harris.

Anyway. Here is 6 hours of Life Drawing Dans Friday class - Experimental Drawing.


I’ve kept with the theme of working with shapes, exploring straight lines in this one. T

he charcoal is dark so the drawings are clear. I have problems with the lighter graphite, especially HB. It’s got to have colored pencil added be notable. 

More of that same page. This was one of my larger figures of the day. I’ve been working smaller recently…. but exploring a range of sizes. Easier to fit everyting in!. This shading techniques on this image is quick straight lines. Areas that are dark I’ve made a harsher mark. With the direction of the marks attempted direction movements in order to create

depth and 3d.

Color! Kept with my recent color palette with a slight switch Yellow for the lights, blue for the negative space. For the darks I’ve switched to a brown grey colored pencil, no dark reds.

I really like the line work on these. Some areas arn;t working right though. Far left figures shouders need a sharper line – it’s currecntly just curved and has no impact. Maybe because of the shading on the arm, may help with more contrast (notice the middle figure and the contrast between charcoal and blue). The legs are strong on this figure. I’ve been spenting time on Concept Art looking at Pencil Sketchbooks.

Again, these lines are working. I’ll keep working on that S and perfect those curves. Along with a strong straight line \, will create a wonderful contrast in my drawings. 

Free oil pastels! Just cheap ones, but I was quick to grab several colors – including a white!. Here I’ve used white and blue together to color the figure. I’m looking forward to more oil pastel as I started it at the end of last term with the plan to keep it going this term – but switched back to colored pencils. Whatever media I feel like using I should do it – don’t let planning take over

Oil pastel again, this time two yellows for the lights and darks. Charcoal was built up over the pastel which is one advantage over graphite.

I’m happy with how this figure turned out. It was great to get back to working with the oil pastel.

More pratice with those curves.. few doodles here and there. 

This page started with a drawing of megan (middle lower). The pose wasn’t working for me – lying down with only back visible. Makes it hard to draw those limbs… so I drew Megan. I had to use the orange for her hair and the theme continued in the drawing of Lor

and the final, gesteral works. Again, just exploring techniques I’ve covered in this post.

Life drawing tomorrow., Georgette is the model! I plan to use charcoal and oil pastel… see what happens with the colored pencils – used them lots drawing portraits at Matchbox last night.

Christena Wednesday Drawings

No more Roberts for the week – Instead I’m in Christenas. She created a block class as there were a bunch of foundation that weren’t told about signing up for classes and there was an overflow of students.

Christina is lovely and allowed me (and Angelique) to join into the class for the rest of the week.

I wanted to carry  on with ideas that I had been developing since Friday. This meant continuing with oil pastel. Focus was on capturing light and dark. The lighting was brilliant – dark room and spotlight on the model. This made looking for the lights and darks easy….

I started with how I started the other sessions this week – with quick 30 second drawings with a 8b graphite pencil. A large focus of these were hands – I’ve wanted to improve my skills in this department.

Slowing down to one minute poses – chance to add tone into areas. It wasn’t much but happy with some of these works.Christina liked this arm so I thought I better take a photo of it. I didn’t get a whole lot of feedback from her – but I enjoyed her attitude and enthusiasm to the class. She is certainly a life drawing ‘tutor’ and helps people greatly with their work. A balance with expressionism and studies I found.Oil Pastel. Similar colors and ideas that I’ve been working with these last several days. The light today is partially good – strong contrasts between the light and dark allows me to capture it easily.

Something a bit different. There was a skeleton model setup in class and for this pose the model and the skeleton held the same pose. I started with the skeleton and drew in James over top. Working the skeleton and model together is something I’d like to explore further. 

The drawing on the right is working well for me. The black helps the contrast well. I’ve applied a white over the black to help with blending. Progressing from earier sessions I feel.

I’ve done 21 hours of life drawing since Friday and have another 12 to go. Out with a blast – it makes me happy!

Robert Tuesday – Term 1 2012

Six hours of life drawing with Robert. Normally it would be three hours on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday but this term it’s switched around. Fine with me as I get the chance to jump into Christenas class for the rest of the week. So much life models – but great to end the term with a bang

I spent the day carrying on with oil pastels – seemed fitting to keep the development and exploration happening.

Graphite 8b warmups. Some tone is applied to areas. Alot of this is done blind which I feel I’ve been neglecting. Good practice. I like the strong straight line work on some of these. These were just warmups and I switched to oil pastel for the rest of the day.

Color scene is similar to yesterday I focused on limbs – looking at the light and dark. Those feet on the top left are looking better! It’s certainly something I have to focus more on – feet and hands.

This is a good example of a work I started but never had time to finish. You can see the pencil lines. More curvy lines are used in areas – and they work. I’m always worried that the curvy lines wont look at good as my normal straight lines. But I wont know unless I do them!

Sitting pose. This was the only time I used white crayon – I used it more yesterday. Rachel said she liked this one, but I don’t think much of it.

I talked about the chair with Angelique – I found it helpful using the chair for reference in measuring the anatomy. The proportions are certainly blown up here.

Another couple of pieces that I’m not happy with. Something it just doesn’t work.

Here I’ve progressed from yesterday and decided to use a black. This was a hard choice as it destroyed the color somewhat – I got around this by using a cloth and smudging the black into the work. This gave it a more painterly effect and wasn’t so over whelming,

When black is added to yellow green is often created. This happens here. I’m not too sure about this color. It’s getting quite muddy.

This was the long pose. It was spose to go all afternoon (3 hours) but people didn’t want a pose that long. Instead this went for 1.5 hours. I’m happy that I got a long pose in that really allowed me to develop the drawing.

I started it how I started the rest – with a pencil outline of the figure and features. Then went in with red for the darks. Yellow for the lights. I covered reds with yellow as well. This helped give it depth. I then added a white – especially on the yellow areas – which hadn’t had any layers yet. This gave a interesting texture and of course depth to the piece. Finally finished it off with black – used a hand towel and rubbed into areas. This really brought areas forward. This is the suggestions that Roger would of given me. I wish I had him there today to help!

Tomorrow I may work in my visual diary – I’ll switch to pencil and colored pencil if so. Or I’ll keep working on an easel with brown paper and pastels. See what happens at the time!



Roger Friday Lee Model

First time doing one of Rogers life drawing this term, and as always - brilliant. His life drawing classes always goes well.

Lee was the model. She had only modeled once before (for Dan). I enjoy drawing her. We started at 9:30am with a long pose that went though to 11am. There isn’t much chances for me to have a life drawing session with these long poses so when it happens – got to make the most of it!

I spent the whole day working with oil pastel – and black and white wax crayon.

This is my warm up. It set the general flow for the day. I’m happy with the figure but extremely annoyed with the foot – the proportions are totally wack. Those toes needed to be under the height of the knee.

Main thought was layers and conveying the light though layers. This is the reason why I choose oil pastels – it’s easier and faster to layer than colored pencil. I love the subtle nature that colored pencils offer but I wanted to treat this with GRIT.

Blue was the first layer – reds – then yellows. It’s similar to my ideas that I’ve been working with in painting.

Here’s the second attempt at getting those proportions sorted. Multi studies of the same pose helped me understand it. The color palette is much more red than the first – much tighter.

I went in first with crayon to create line – giving a basic shape to the figure. This of course was straight lines – easy to measure. I feel I’m developing a real feel for measuring proportions correctly with the straight line technique.

Blue was used for the negative space – this gave a strong contrast to the yellow and red of the figure. Contrast! So important.

This pose was an hour. I’m not happy with it. Contrast with light and dark is lost within the figure – I didn’t focus enough. Could be better if we used a spotlight, using nature light gives a flat light rather than strong contrasts.

I’m still learning how to work with the oil pastels, but I wouldn’t hang this on my wall.

This was a 20 min pose. Surprising one my favorite for the day. It’s important I remember how much I can get done in a certain time frame and work to beating my time (no rushing though!).

Whats working is this colors – the balance of lights and darks. Roger mentioned that the dark in the hair helped the contrast with the skin. I choose green for the negative space over blue as I had used blue in the figure. A red could work as well.

I’m happy with this work and think it’s the strongest piece of the day. Plus it’s a standing pose!

This was a struggle. But I feel I learnt about the proprieties of oil pastel. Standing back I felt it lacked whites. Roger told me to go in with more whites then color over it. This helped but I needed more time to fix it. Whatever, it was a good resolving learning moment.

Roberts life drawing next week, and I might take a few of these works digitally.