Sketching With Yvan

Every Monday morning I meet Yvan at “Les Collections” at the Unversité Laval.  This is a magical place that houses the university entomological collection, stores all of the animal specimens that used to be part of the natural history museum, and a large collection of plaster casts that used to be of interest to the fine arts department but they were somewhat shoved out of the way when it was determined that you didn’t need to draw to get a fine arts degree.

Their loss – our gain.  It’s not outdoor sketching but drawing single-lit plaster casts is certainly a way to improve your drawing ability and goodness knows mine needs improvement.  Truthfully, I’m not sure it improves your drawing ability or your seeing ability the most as it’s wonderful training for the eye.  In any case, it helps and it’s lots of fun.

I drew this on Monday.  Drew it on smooth Bristol board as I enjoy my new experiences with a pencil.  Beyond knowing which end makes the lines, these devices remain a mystery to me.  The drawing isn’t quite as fuzzy as this scan suggests – thank goodness :-)

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2 Responses to “Sketching With Yvan”

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  1. Tina says:

    What a fun collection for sketching this must be! It’s interesting that you prefer a smooth Bristol with pencil. I don’t use graphite often, but when I do, I prefer a little tooth on the paper, like S&B Alpha.

    • Ha…did I mention that I’m like Colonel Klink in Hogan’s Heros. “I know nothing” when it comes to pencils and pencil papers. I found S&B Alpha too rough so I went to see what others used. Lee Hammond (several realistic pencil books), Darrell Tank (5-pencil method on YouTube), and J.D. Hilberry (hyper-realism with pencils) use “smooth bristol”, “vellum bristol” and Arches hot-press watercolor paper respectively. Tank provides caveats. He insists that Strathmore 300 Bristol (vellum) is the best but says you need to use the back side of it because it’s smoother. He’s correct in his observation but when I compare the back of his vellum bristol to Strathmore’s smooth bristol, I can feel no difference :-)

      So, as I said, “I know nothing.” But I figured that because I found S&B Alpha to be too rough (and have no large S&B Zeta) that I’d give Bristol paper a try. I’m assuming that you realize that Bristol papers are not as glossy smooth as bristol board. Anyways, I’m the last guy on Earth who should provide recommendations for pencil work, which is why I simply stated what I used. But in hindsight, it wouldn’t have hurt for me to have provided my tortured logic for doing so. Thanks for urging me to do so.

      Cheers — Larry