Jan Baltzell

Here is a 2 week charcoal drawing, 22x30, that was done for Jan Baltzell's Thursday morning drawing class. The pose was quite a challenge; she requested that the model alternate sitting on two chairs on opposite sides of the table, every 10 minutes. So the model's right arm is shown twice in my drawing. We did this type of one model/alternating pose the first 2 weeks as well. This exercise really helps to hone our sense of spacial relationships, the way we deal with memory, and deciding what is necessary for the completion or success of a drawing. Jan Baltzell is an excellent professor who encourages and helps us to explore what we are most interested in terms of drawing or what makes us tick, whether that be an interest in line, atmosphere, texture, etc. She emphasizes what she calls "passages" within our drawings, pushing us to create pockets and inlets and outlets through which the eye can travel.

Next week she is taking the whole class to Philly's famous Reading Terminal Market (famous for its Amish pies and donuts, cheesesteaks, produce, and everything else you could ever want to eat) to do some sketching, I suppose for a larger drawing. It's going to be something else to try to pin down a composition in all of that commotion. Perhaps I'll go for Duchamp's futurist Nude Descending the Staircase approach and attempt to depict all of the hustle and bustle at once.

The above charcoal was done on Rives BFK paper, which is pure heaven. During my year at the Maryland Institute College of Art, it was the only paper I would work on. It holds the charcoal like no other and feels like velvet to the touch. I've come back to working on it now, because even at 5 or 6 dollars a sheet, Rives makes all the difference.



February 10, 2009 at 4:08 PM

Hi Tina,

I was admiring your drawing and noticed how neat that composition is. It is great the way the right arm of your figure moves the viewer’s eye up to the shoulder, which then connects with the bottle. Then your eye is moved across the center of the page to the other figure's hand (which is resting on the book). Next, you notice the cloth dangling down. Finally, the circular table spins your eye back to the right arm to do it all over again.

Great job! This is something that I have been trying to accomplish in my own drawings, but am still struggling with keeping the viewers eye engaged.

  Mike Manley

February 11, 2009 at 8:16 PM

Very interesting crop, you are the cropper!

I always feel like I'm cheating when I crop.