Head Drawing Class Flashback: “Girl with Dreadlocks”

So, my posting schedule started to suffer at the end of the Fall 2012 semester when I was working on assignments for a head drawing class. Luckily I still have the files for most of them so I’ll post a few of those before my classes for this fall get going in the next couple weeks.

After focusing on sanguine/white studies on tan paper, we worked in pastels, a medium I’d never used before. The best way to describe them is like very brightly colored sticks of chalk; they’re neither “pastel” nor are they creamy like oil pastels. The colors are very vibrant and fun to work with, and the process required in the class called for layering in warm & cool colors to create the light & shadow colors. If you cover the majority of the paper with pigment – I think something like 90%, then it’s actually considered a painting even though it’s been done with a dry medium.

I managed to remember to take photos throughout the process for a few of the drawing/paintings. Here’s one of the earlier ones – “Girl with Dreadlocks”

Each of the drawings begins with a black underdrawing…

…which is then overlaid with either black chalk or some other color.


Then you lay in a base layer of color…


… and add more layers of pigment, topping off with highlights until you are “finished”. The whole process takes somewhere between six to 8,000 hours.


Also, it helps if you color balance your photos! More to come next week.

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