December drawing salon at the NGA

Today I went to another one of the fantastic Drawing Salon classes at the National Gallery of Art! Today's session focused on El Greco, and the art history portion of the class was fascinating.  We also got to do several really interesting drawing exercises.  The one I've included here was my favorite of the three.  We were instructed to use pencil to block in the gesture and basic shape of the figure, and then use conte crayon to do contour lines along the outside of the figure, which was really helpful in observing how El Greco intentionally distorts and exaggerates the anatomy of his figures.  All this was followed by some shading and adding white highlights.  I think this exercise took twenty minutes.  I'd like to go back next week on my own and draw some more of his figures using this method.  I do find conte crayons to be tricky to work with...I'm sure I just need more practice with them.