Figure Drawing in Pastel Pencils (With a Live Model) | Shelby Van Cleef | Skillshare

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Figure Drawing in Pastel Pencils (With a Live Model)

teacher avatar Shelby Van Cleef

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

3 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. Figurepart1

    • 2. Figurepart2

    • 3. Figurepart3

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About This Class

Watch along as I render this figure drawing from start to finish in color with pastel pencils! Beginners welcome! I'll explain what I am doing as I go and throw in a few terms, techniques and art history along the way! 


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1. Figurepart1: Hello, my friends. This is Shelby again. Today I'm going to be using generals pastel pencils to be doing a figure drawing from a live model. To do this in under an hour video. It's gonna be sped up 200% for your viewing convenience. So what I want you to think about always when you're using a live model, is toe really take time posing your model in a comfortable position. That is also be usually interesting. And again, you really want a strong source of light to create shadows on the muscles within the body when I just dive in and go for it. I went for the head first, and I did this because I wanted to make sure that the head above all else didn't get cropped out. A lot of things end up going off the page, and that's OK, but I didn't want the head to be one of those things in this case. But as you can see, I'm going really, really fast as I'm sketching out the head. I'm not really focusing on details yet. I want to make sure that I've mapped out kind of the size and proportion of the body and where I want everything to be in the composition before going back for details. I started with the color purple, so I wanted a cool color that wasn't going to be too overpowering, actually end up saving Black until the very end. I originally had my model Dave reading a book, but I realized that turning the page was going to get annoying. So instead he's watching a movie, something to keep his eyes and body in the same position. Same thing with hand. I'm really doing a light sketch, not worrying about details too much, but I really am paying attention to the subtle curves. I don't want to neglect any of those amazing negative spaces. Negative spaces, if you aren't familiar with the term, are the spaces that are created in between the body. You know where you could see background. This is something you really want to think about a lot when you're opposing the model. Those interesting negative spaces are really something to make you look like a professional artist. When I'm going around the breast, I'm thinking about curves, but obviously this is a male model, so you don't want to be too intense for the shadow under the breast or you know what will happen. But you definitely want to think about those muscles that are under the skin and how they're circular curve shaped and don't neglect those interesting lines. I really don't end up focusing too much on the sheet or anything that he's lying on. But I wanted Teoh make sure that I got some kind of rough impression of what he was laying on. It didn't look like he was just floating in air. That pressure point where his body meets the bed is really all I ended up emphasizing. - It's helpful to remember not to do a lot of straight lines within the body. You always want to kind of make your lines curving in the same way that the body itself curbs so your shadows aren't really straight lines. Sketching is much different from drawing because you're not using a lot of pressure when you put the pencil down. This is because I end up changing the position of a lot of things a bunch of times as the rest of the composition comes in a little clearer and I add more details. I start to realize that some things need to get shifted a little bit. And that's why sketching is really ideal for when you're starting out rather than drawing using a lot of pressure because it's hard to erase those lines. I try to keep my eyes on the model for maybe even more time than I keep it on the page, because observation is really key. And I'm looking for proportion and things like landmarks where I could tell like the end of the nose really looks like it meets up. The same point is the bottom of the fingers, for example. So you wanna look for things that will help you kind of gauge proportion a little more easily something beginners do. A lot is really stress over how the facial features air gonna turn out. I urge you not to do this. You know, little by little comes together, treat it like the rest of the body. The more time you spend fussing with the face, sometimes it kind of ends up looking muddier and muddier and worse, just be free. No, you got this. So I'm still using purple and starting to add in a few shadows shadows air still very, very light, and I'm going toe layer a lot color on top of color to push the shadows and again finish it off with black at the very end. So they're kind of gentle shadows at this point. That's one of the reasons I really like thes pastel pencils with an eraser on the back. Racer doesn't always do real magic, as you would expect with a regular pencil, but it definitely helps some damage control again . You really want to pay attention to how the negative space is supposed to look. It could sometimes be the most beautiful, eye popping part of ah piece. You see that I'm never really staying in one spot. I move around the drawing as much as possible to make sure that I'm showing enough attention. Teoh each end of the page, especially at this stage. Another great thing about pastel pencils is that you can kind of rub it in tow, change the texture a little bit, get rid of some of those lines where you could see which direction I was dragging. The pencil kind of blurred out a little bit, which is nice. I'm getting even more and more gentle with the application of the pencil on the page as I get into those shadows inside the torso, because the light is hitting them in a slightly different way than those extreme shadows. By this point, I've pretty much got the composition mapped out and again I'm scrubbing, kind of blurring things out a little bit, calming down those texture marks. And in the second video, I'm going to be using another color. Lalla, Stay with me. I'll see you next time. 2. Figurepart2: So after all that scrubbing, I got up and washed my hands because I didn't want to start smudging purple over the page where it wasn't supposed to go. Rookie Mistake. My second color pencil that I have chosen or pastel pencil Rather is red, which is finally going to start making him look alive. I really avoid like blues and greens when I'm doing the body, unless I'm doing something kind of supernatural or funky because it cooler colors like that tend to make the body look a little dead. You want the body to look warm in temperature, make it look alive. My focus is on color now, so I'm looking for spots on the face or on the body where I see a lot of bread. But I'm aware that this is also going to be a shading process by layering on top of the purple. So I'm not only looking for the red, but I'm looking for the red that's specifically in the shadows. First, the areas where you end up layering a lot of colors on top of one another are going to be really eye catching and draw the viewer's eye in. So make sure you are thinking about that while you're layering. - I'm using the same kind of soft application within the torso, moving outside the purple a little bit as well. When I thought about what order I was going to do the colors here, I kind of figured that I'd be moving around the color wheel so red and purple were close together. Seemed like a logical next step. After that, I'll probably go for a yellow, which I skipped orange. But that's OK, because yellow layered on top of red is gonna make orange anyway. Hair is a funny thing with color. I really used every color that I ever pick up to put in the hair. His hair has a funny way of catching light, and even if it's dark brown or black hair, it probably has more colors than you would originally think. Inevitably, life has distractions. They've received an important phone call at this stage, so that's another reason that I really like to knock out as much of the composition in the beginning. It's possible because of things like this happen. At least I'm not kind of fishing out of nowhere and making things up. I know basically where everything is, and right now I'm just focusing on color, so it's not a huge deal that his mouth is moving. I'm going to avoid that because that would be another mistake if I went to the mouth at the point where it's moving. At this point, I've grab some yellow. And what's cool about yellow is that it's almost a blending stick, like after I have layered it on top of some colors. It really does a lot of the blending work for me just because it's almost a translucent color. - If your model does get distracted and moves out of position a little bit, don't give up. It's not the end of the world. The most important thing is to just keep persevering and make something out of this masterpiece. Because you've gone this far, and if you picked a great position in the first place, it shouldn't be too hard to get back into the position. At this stage, the facial hair should always be treated just like the hair. Sometimes it could take on a slightly different color, but you want to use the same technique of layering on many colors, even if it's going to end up being dark in the end. At this stage, it's super fun to go in and blur everything. I kind of get excited to go and run my hand all over this work. But again, you want to remember to not go too far outside of the body where you run the risk of smudging everywhere in the background. Of course, you got your cool erasure. If you're using the same pencils, ideo But it's still more work in the end. So keep within the lines this time coming up on a break again. So come back for the next video to finish it all off. 3. Figurepart3: so by the stage, we've created a lot of the dimension and established the shape a lot of the shadows that air there. And now I'm finally gonna go back with that dreaded black. And I'm using a lot of parallel lines to kind of go over certain areas where I'm also letting a lot of the color peek through because I don't want to lose that just because I'm putting some black in. - Since black is the easiest to smudge of all the colors, I like to start on the left side, especially at the top kind of work my way down into the right so I don't end up smudging. And just like that, another phone call. Lots of emergencies that day. It's okay, just go with the flow because we are artists and we can do anything. Your model is most likely being very patient with you, so you want to also maintain a positive attitude with your model, because that is the easiest way to keep them in the right position until your work is done . Now. I was pressing down fairly hard around the hair because I knew I wanted that to be almost black, but within the body the shadows that I'm adding a layer of black on top of I'm being very, very gentle with my application. So not putting too much pressure on the pencil and you'll notice I'm not doing any hard outlines. I'm kind of just letting the shading that we've layered on create the edges themselves. You want to pay attention to where your models hairline begins and make sure that all the strands sort of makes sense. Sorry about the camera blur here. I wasn't touching it, so I'm not really sure what happened. But you can kind of still get the gist of what I'm doing. Continuing toe gently layer black over the areas with the most strong shading. Just starting with one or two fingers. Teoh rub in the black because if I use my whole hands and run the risk of dragging black into some of the highlights, and I want to leave some extreme highlights toe, add some contrast in drama and again, we've got a lens blur going on, so I'll take this opportunity to flash him exciting art backs on the screen when I blend with my fingers in the hair because I left some gaps between where I laid the black pastel down. It's still kind of shows through. That was wonderful colors that we put down at this stage. Black kind of becomes a cool shadow because I haven't used any blue or other cool colors in the drawing yet. And I drawing like this. It's OK to leave some parts a little bit unfinished, just a long as the main parts that you wanted to capture. You zeroed in on and really given those detail and still going to be a really powerful and interesting piece. Despite all our distractions, I was happy with the finished piece, and I hope you learned something from scrubbing through or listening to me talk throughout this video. Thanks so much for your time, and I hope I get engaged you again in one of our coming videos.