April meeting

Great demonstration by Jon Davies of portrait drawing in charcoal . Here’s a couple of images from the evening. The report is below if you scroll down.

Charcoal demo1Chrocoal demo 2

This is the first visit from Jon Davies to Radas as he has only recently moved from Wales.  He is a very experienced portrait artist who treated us to an evening of stories of his life as well as sharing numerous pieces of advice regarding capturing interesting, accurate portraits.

This demonstration was a game of two halves.  The first half of the session was a demonstration of generic facial features using charcoal.  Jon gave us many tips throughout the session- particularly proportion, light source and shadows, focal points and perspective as well as tonal advice.  He demonstrated the difficulties and pitfalls of portraying teeth and also gave tips on drawing convincing hands and fingers and selecting interesting subjects.

Jon uses vine charcoal, (apparently willow isn’t always used these days), conte pencils and graphite sticks.  He showed us the increased freedom he can achieve by using extenders on the pencils.  Other tips included using electric erasers, wet and dry paper for sharpening the eraser ends and the joys of ‘grey’ and painting grisaille portraits.
The second, shorter,  part of the session was a portrait of an old gentleman of the rail track, “Jono”, who Jon met on his travels. We heard many tales of the adventures of both Jon and Jono as Jon drew this old gent from memory. Jon works from life, his own photographs and also from memory.  We hear that he holds the record for the most portraits in one day- 41! All of which were considered as true likenesses of the sitters.
Jon donated the portrait of Jono to Radas for us to raffle.
We hope to have another visit from Jon in the near future.