Today was our first day of class. Our model was Fiona Garrett.
For a demo today I went over some of the basic drawing materials we will be using in this class. One of the things I find people often don't know is the difference between vine and compressed charcoal.
Vine charcoal is made from an actual vine (you can also buy willow). The pieces of vine are heated in an oxygen free environment until they turn to charcoal. So when you use vine charcoal you are rubbing vine dust onto the paper. There is not adhesive mixed with the vine dust. This makes it easy to wipe off but difficult to get really dark values. It can also be difficult to achieve a range of mid tones because when you try to blend or soften a mark or gradation the dust comes off.
Compressed charcoal is made from black charcoal dust mixed with an adhesive. The mixture is extruded into either blocks or pencils. The adhesive in the mixture helps the charcoal stick to the paper so it doesn't wipe off as easily and you can achieve darker values and a wider range of mid tone.
I also demonstrated gesture drawing and then how to develop a drawing by identifying the relationships between major anatomical landmarks. See the video below for a review.