"Unlike our own time, in which art students may take only one course in drawing and then dive right into painting or sculpture, European art academies were based on a rigorous and lengthy progression of training in draftsmanship. Drawing in general—and from the human figure in particular—was considered to be absolutely essential for all subsequent work. If you were not able to draw the figure in the widest possible range of poses and lighting conditions, you would not be prepared to handle the vast historical and mythological canvases that would be expected of you as a rising young artist."
This tradition is still alive, and it is very important to know this. And the training is just as applicable today as it was yesterday.
Excellent technique site mizuno, really good stuff. It's amazing the variations you get out of vine charcoal, I once had a drawing turn out a lovely brownish just because of something in the willow wood. Chalks are a great addition to charcoal.
(For those who don't know these are not pencil drawings I don't think, the charcoal used is a twig of willow that is charred, it is called vine charcoal - not the big heavy sticks, those are rarely used for this type of work and only in the "deepest darks" and graphite does NOT mix well with charcoal.)
sehertu mannu narāṭu ina pānāt šagapīru ningishzidda abrahadabra