Gestural Drawing With Graphite

The next example is a line and tone drawing which derives much of its impact from knocking back with an eraser, a method that is particularly appropriate for figurative portrait work; you will find examples of its use in the drawings of Auerbach and Giacometti. You may find it a bit strange at first to reach a certain point and then have to rub out what you have just done, but after spending time practising with the technique you will begin to see what can be achieved with it.

1/ Establish the form using a continuous line (i.e. not taking the graphite from the paper while you draw) and following the shape of the figure. Imagine you are actually drawing your line on the person.

2/ Place gestural tone over the line. Gauge the strength and extra dimension it can bring to your drawing.

3/ Using the eraser in a diagonal direction, go over the drawing and rub out what you have just done. This will set the portrait back into the picture plane and also give it atmosphere.

4/ You can now re-establish the tone and some of the line, imparting to it a sense of drama, space and expression which will hold the drawing together.

Line Drawings TkdGraphite Drawing Techniques

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