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charcoal drawing of foot and ice on sidewalk
Charcoal on paper

I was not looking forward to starting a required drawing class: it triggered memories of my childhood art class experiences, where the overzealous local artists would actually erase my work and draw in the shapes for me. I have never found drawing still life arrangements of driftwood, bottles, and bike helmets very inspiring.

My first experience using charcoal was a bit daunting – it’s dusty – black handprints now adorn the couch. But after the first day of working on the drawing pictured here, I actually started to enjoy the process. I created a mid-tone surface by covering the page in natural charcoal, and then used an eraser or more charcoal to create lighter and darker values. I was impressed by the way the gray surface enabled me to make a large drawing fairly quickly.

Drawing on a regular forced me to become more observant. Without the seduction of colour, I could focus on composition, which is essential to progressing the level of my paintings.

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