Some practise heads, thinking about the lessons from copying some Fechin drawings.
Main points: I am using a conte pastel pencil "Pierre Noire", with one side shaved about 3 cm down the side, and rounded off with sandpaper, so I can get a nice broad mark when I want it, or a sharp line with the point. I am enjoying the pencil because it allows you to get your hand back out of the way more than with a normal square piece that is necessarily short.
The main points that I feel I have found out about Fechin's process and the emphasis of what he did with drawings are:
1. start with the broad, soft marks to establish the large form lightly, building towards sharp lines in specific points.
2. these sharp marks can be used where there is a cast shadow or an edge (an horizon of the form)
3. the emphasis of his drawings, at least what I am getting from them, is distributed between solidity of form, gesture and character
(these studies are based on images of a pose from www.posespace.com which provides images of poses seen through 24 points of view at 15 degree intervals.)