Regular Life Drawing offers a fantastic opportunity to experiment with different materials, styles and methods of describing the subject.
I’ll generally use charcoal on either bank paper or newsprint but recently I’ve tried doing at least a couple of poses per session on toned paper and using white pencil to indicate highlights. I love the extra level of form that can be rendered this way.
The group I attend (when I can) doesn’t generally have poses any longer than 15 mins (we may manage a 20 mins pose on the odd occasion) so time is at a premium.
Allowing the paper to act as the halftone and describing the shadows and highlights with charcoal and white pencil respectively, I feel like I can translate more of the form in the allotted time than I can when just rendering dark v light or indicating the tonal range from shadow side to halftone, leaving the paper to indicate highlights.
Either way, it means looking for different cues and different details to render and I think it all works together to broaden my knowledge base in terms of how to describe the form I see before me.