Getting down and dirty with charcoal

Working out compositions with charcoal on paper.
I'm working out the composition of this landscape oil painting I was commissioned to paint at the moment. Charcoal's the best for this as it's fast to get things onto paper. And it's easy to rub out.

I just have a couple of photo references to base the oil painting on. It is actually quite hard to work from photos for lots of reasons. Nearly always the light is wrong and it's hard to see what you're looking at sometimes. As well the actual subject the client wants may not lend itself to a nice harmonious picture. So you've got to work out a better organisation of shapes but still capture the visual facts.

After I've done this part of the process I draw the final composition onto tracing paper which will then be traced onto the canvas. Not there yet though.



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