Drawing-Charcoal-Finished Work-Still Life

I wanted to title this “Finished drawing but be aware”. Just finished this last night it’s called “Chocolate Dessert” 5 x 7 charcoal. It came out nice BUT BE AWARE and do not draw your reference lines to dark. “Ahhhh”…I drew over a dark reference grid line with white and wow what a mistake. I kept going over and over it finally getting it to a point that’s somewhat exceptable to me but I was on the verge of tossing it. That was an idiotic stupid mistake but a valuable lesson. Overall I’m happy with it and it looks WAYY better in person.


OMG—It’s wonderful Dan. Observing the light falloff! on the sides of the paper I am guessing that the subjects in the lower sections are much brighter. If you don’t mind—here is an image with compensation for that. Let me know if this is closer.

Again, awesome work brother.

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Haha…MUCH closer! Thank you so much. I’m watching your video right now. Ive prepared 3 boards for painting and need to get my ass in gear. Btw, basic acrylic Liquitex is horrible, I switched to the professional grade.

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Yes—I tell everyone to avoid the basics line. “Pro is the way to go.

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This is a really great piece Dan. I think you’re really good at capturing the out of focus effects.
I saw your other post where you were complaining about your students not being enthused enough to do the LOP drawings.

I have worked on and off from the LOP and LOD courses over the past 2 years. At the risk of being a heretic I have to confess that I can sort of understand a little of where your students are coming from.

Not that the courses haven’t had an effect on me, because they have. But I also have a feeling sometimes that I do the exercises, then when I return to an artwork, I just forget about some of the principles I have learned and go back to doing what I used to do. I mean I don’t forget everything but I do forget somethings.

So my question to you, that might help you understand your students better, is this: convince me that everything you learn in the LOD course, will make executing a work like the one you have done above both easy and possible. Convince me that without the LOD exercises the work you did above would not have been possible.

I mean why are all those gradation exercises so pivotal to being able to draw what you have done above? I mean couldn’t you just make your students do a copy of your work above, in order that they might learn how to draw properly?

Thank you for your thoughts on this subject. I first rely on talking about why scales are so important, why gradation exercises are so important. I relate it to a musician that is asked to play in symphony hall without any training. The LoD is no different than studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, I know because I’ve been there. It’s deliberate practice and constant study of scales and pressures that will ultimately transform your skill into what you view so highly as you view artwork among the master’s like Waichulus and others. As a teacher I first show them pieces of work that others have done and of course my students are awe inspired. I explain the work involved and constantly beat into them why it’s important and what it’s doing for their development. All of them are stuck with me for eight sessions so they’re almost forced to do pressure scales until they get to a point where they see success, and they do! For fun and a break between scales we do other exercises to break up the monotony. All of them see progress but it’s like pulling teeth even afterwards. I have one student who purchased the language of drawing program from Anthony and I’m continuing to teach her for free as Rodney O’Dell Davis taught me for free. She is how I was which was an obsession in getting it perfect. I would rather teach 1 person who wants to learn for free than 8 people that are in the studio because it’s a nice outing for 2 hours for a few bucks.


The picture that I uploaded is from my student This is what she has done so far. She is going back to working on just the dark pressure scales, she wants them perfect!

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Well in that case you seem to have it all worked out. Provided they understand the end goal I’m sure any good student will be able to appreciate why the exercises are important and apply themselves. Sounds to me like some of your students just aren’t that good. Which is typical. Then again, if all students were good we wouldn’t be ever able to feel ourselves smug at being somewhere near the top of the hierarchy.

I agree that teaching a willing pupil is a joy not a chore. I hope one day when I have learned enough I will be able to give something back to the system. Rodney O’Dell Davis must have been a great teacher. I loved that piece he did called ‘The Last Dance’. That was a real classic.