Instead of working on a blank sheet drawing in outlines and then concentrating on the design detail the intent was to work from a totally covered base and uncover the highlight areas. In effect it felt like working backwards.
Charcoal was applied over the whole sheet until the page was black. An eraser was then used to lift and lighten areas to define the rocks and cushions.
This was my first time standing working at an easel.
A study of the person working at an easel on my right.
Image 1 (left, larger image): First attempt using charcoal pencil and continuous line.
Image 2 (top left): Charcoal pencil using non-dominant hand.
Image 3 (bottom left): Ink and bamboo stick.
Image 4 (right hand picture): Drawing and shading with willow charcoal.
By the third attempt I was seeing the shape of the head and age of the person more clearly but still wasn’t doing great. Image 4, when concentrating on the shading, has resulted in yet another interpretation. She seems to have lost about 15 years and gained a cheesy smile that was never in evidence!
Stringer was drawn using 2B, 5B and 8B pencils with a lot of layering and rubbing back to soften the image where required.