March 15, 2018

Why I Love Elephants

I hibernate many days during January, partly because of the weather, and partly because I'm thinking about new projects.  In January 2013 I did elephant drawings and paintings using every tool/medium I had in the apartment.  I used videos of elephants for most of my drawings - pausing at images I liked.

This remains one of my favorite elephants made that month.  It is a collage created using the method of Eric Carle and previously made paste paper. 



Within the last several days my son linked to this elephant video and I can't stop smiling.  I decided to republish my favorite elephant so I can share the video  fun.  Hope you enjoy it too. 

March 13, 2018

Drawing and Eating February 9th

Last Friday I went to a Swann Gallery's "Drawings and Prints" Auction Preview with my friends Pat and Eunice.  There was a wonderful selection of art, more prints than drawings, but everything was inspiring.  After looking at everything I chose 2 drawings to add to my sketchbook.  This was a drawing by Toulouse-Lautrec ("Caudieux - 1893") and I chose to paint it. instead of using charcoal. 


 Almuerza 1937 - a brush and India ink drawing by Diego Rivera. 


After viewing all of the Art, which will be auctioned beginning today, we had a late lunch at Panera.  After lunch I sketched and painted several other customers.


March 9, 2018

Line of Action Fast Figure Drawing

Suhita Shirodkar, who is one of the regular teachers at the USK Symposium, has a Craftsy Class about figure drawing using "Lines of Action" to quickly express movement.  I periodically practice this technique, using photos from magazine ads and scrap paper.  in her class she uses photo references to teach her technique, and then uses video clips to demonstrate drawing from moving figures.  Here are 6 figures drawn from photos, and 2 figures drawn while I watched ballet dancers warm up.  As soon as Spring arrives I need to go sit and watch figures doing something other than just walking!  There are baseball fields, and  basketball and tennis courts in Central Park - maybe that would be a good starting place.










March 5, 2018

Golden Kingdoms - New Exhibit at the Met

I went to the opening of the new Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit called Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas.  I was overwhelmed by the variety of archeologic finds, their materials, artistry, and beauty.  These are 3 out of almost 300 objects.  It was almost like going to the Picasso Sculpture exhibit at MoMA when I wanted to draw everything.


This is a link to the Met website, and every item in the exhibit can be seen in photos.  Scroll down to see the link for all items. 

 I'm also including a few of the photos that I took.  These were favorites, but I didn't copy names or dates - they stretched from 600-700 AD to 14th and 15th Centuries.







March 1, 2018

Creating a Comic Book

I am learning a great deal about creating comic books.  This is way out of my comfort zone, but the class is set up so that we go slowly through the different stages of development.  I created 4 characters and sketched "turnarounds" - front, back, and side views.  The next steps were to build their world, develop the characteristics - good and bad - for each character, and now write a synopsis of the story for our next class. 

Step 2:  Building a World

My characters live on the moon, but accidently travel to Earth.  I used some NASA photos of the moon surface to figure out how to draw craters, and made up the rest.   I was surprised to see Earth clearly above the horizon of the moon in their photos.


Axel and Alice mistakenly start his mother's small space ship, so this is them next to the Space Ship. 



These are just sketches and later will need to be made as panels, of varying sizes.  A standard comic book is 22 pages.  We only have to write a short story and prepare 3 pages - each of which may have as many as 6 panels.   

This is a link to my first blog post with Character "Turnarounds." 

February 27, 2018

And Still More Hands

I just finished my 5th Sketchbook of Body Parts - and I know that I still need to practice more.  I continue to save magazine advertisements so I can use them for Deliberate Practice.  These are the two drawings I did in February.  Some months there are more, but this month I've been writing every day. 






February 23, 2018

Urban Sketchers February 21st

The NYC Weekday Urban Sketchers met at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church for the twice per semester Juilliard Concert of the Historical Performance Graduate Students who play early music.  I arrived 15 minutes before the doors opened and made a quick sketch of the building at CPW and W65th St.


I've previously sketched players and their string instruments at this concert, and wanted to sketch the harpsichord player during the concert.


This is a wonderful free concert, and it is first come, first serve seating.  Our group members met after the concert to show their drawings and there were so many different types of drawings, including the 4 big stained glass windows. 

February 20, 2018

Playing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Joseph Cornell - detail from one of his 12 Boxes inspired by Juan Gris.  Not my favorite art, but I wanted to remember working in a series.


We wandered around trying to find a gallery that inspired all of us, and Pat suggested a random painting by Georges de la Tours, called the Fortune Teller.  We all picked one of the figures to draw. 



Here we are in front of the painting.  My sketchbook page is above.  On the photo below you can't see the sketches in Paula's or my sketchbook, so Pat just drew them in on her iPAD! 


February 16, 2018

NY Philharmonic Young Peoples Cocert

We began taking our Grandchildren to the Young People's Concerts 8 years ago.  There are 4 concerts per year, and before the 1 hour concert, they have a 30 minute presentation called the Young Composers Concert.  Three children from this city-wide music program are selected to have members of the Philharmonic play their short compositions.  Here is a quick drawing of the head of the program, John Deake, and the trumpet player.


I debate about adding this type of sketchbook page to the Urban Sketchers Facebook Page, but thought this was a good advertisement for an amazing opportunity for kids in our urban city.

Shirley Parker Levine
New York City

March 2018

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