I am often asked how I am able to get so much done so quickly when I draw and paint. I have a simple formula for “speed” in terms of working from life.
Speed = Accuracy + Efficiency
A lot of the structure comes from the tools I use. It’d be easy to mistakenly believe that once you know the right tools to use, you have most of what you need. The truth is, it took years to find the tools I enjoy the most. Many (fun) trips are made to the art supply store trying to find the “perfect” pencil, compressed charcoal, etc.
A few of the main things I’m looking for are durability, variety in mark-making, range of tones, and erasability. In order to be most efficient, you would want one that can make rapid changes to the surface, and one that could make subtle changes. You will see that of every type of tool I draw with, I keep at least one hard and soft version of each.
Ritmo Charcoal pencils get pretty dark. I think the 3B’s are the darkest ones you can get. I like Ritmos because they don’t get those spots in the lead where it feels “rocky.” General’s pencils are the biggest offenders.
3 Minute Gesture Drawing: Nicole - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jHOIUeX9pc
20-minute gesture drawing: Angge - http://youtu.be/_ALelYgd9F0
Landscape Drawings in Charcoal
As a bonus, I am putting up some landscape drawings that I’ve been doing in the field lately. I think since drawing is more important than painting and value is more important than color, it’s critical that we as artists develop this side of our technique as much as we can. Without paint and brushwork in the way, this practice gives a much more honest depiction on where we stand in terms of skill. I wish more artists would share the landscape drawings they do.
About Sergio Lopez
North Bay Area based Fine Artist Sergio Lopez. Oil paintings, gouache paintings, plein air paintings, and charcoal drawings. http://www.themainloop.com