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July 31, 2010

Bethesda Fountain, Central Park - Then and Now

I started sketching in 2003, after buying Gwen Diehn's book The Decorated Page.  It took me almost 2 years to fill a watercolor sketchbook because I was still working long hours.  One of those early sketches, and watercolor painting with student grade watercolor paints, was of Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, New York. 

This morning it was 68 degrees and sunny when I woke up and I couldn't resist an 8AM walk to the Park and to Bethesda Fountain for another sketch.  I thought it would be fun to upload my first sketch and this morning's sketch since I didn't even start sketching daily or start my blog until Jan. 2006.

Here is a sketch from July 2003:


 I then redrew the top of the fountain and painted it the same morning:


And here is my still unpainted sketch from this morning - from a different bench.  The sun was changing the shadows very quickly, so I took a photo and will paint it at home sometime soon.  The faint pencil lines are the top of the trees/sky line.



July 29, 2010

Figure Drawing at the Society of Illustrators - New York

I started going to figure drawing sessions in September 2009, and averaged one session per month over the whole year.  There is now a summer break until after Labor Day and that seems a long time away.  I think I'm making progress, and more frequently sketch faces during the longer poses.  Here are the two 10 minute poses and two 20 minute poses done this week.







July 26, 2010

Grandparent Visual Journal Pages

My daughter's 3 children (ages 7,5,3) spent 3 days with us while their parents celebrated their anniversary at the Beach.  They are really energetic and fun children, so I dedicated my daily journal pages to them.  The two youngest ones actually "colored" in their sketchbooks during the weekend and had me draw some of their favorite images for them to color.  New York City was soooo hot, that we started each day at the newly renovated Central Park playground that is next to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  They wore their bathing suits to take full advantage of the water play for several early morning hours.


Sydney and Callum have Christmas birthdays and for the second year in a row Syd and I celebrated her birthday in July with a trip to the art supply store.  This year we went to Dick Blick and she selected a wonderful assortment of art supplies and activity kits.  She used the last few dollars to buy cute little flash card notebooks for herself and two brothers, so I sketched all of them.


Callum really, really loves dinosaurs and dragons and brought a big box of them to play with during the weekend.  He was showing me his squishy dragon when I decided that this was the perfect image for the day.


Yesterday afternoon, my son dropped off their youngest (11 month old Zach) while they went to a baseball game to celebrate their other son Robbie's 5th birthday.  Zach stands alone, crawls really, really fast, and would love to be walking-running.  We spent some time with him in our long hallway, pushing the baby carriage that we bought for Syd for her 1st birthday (but now lives with us to share with the babies).  Here is Zach squealing with delight as Syd and my husband try to slow him down a little.


After Henry, Sydney, and Callum went home and Zach fell asleep, I took a few minutes to paint Zach's really cute little sandal. 


July 21, 2010

Matisse Exhibit at Museum of Modern Art

A new Matisse exhibit opened at MoMA on Sunday - entitled Radical Invention, 1913-1917.  The paintings were somber in color and he was definitely experimenting with the human form, culminating in his painting The Bathers.  I sketched faces from one of his paintings and several of his prints for the Prisoners of Bohain-en-Vermandois.



I then use3d one of the drawings to inspire my "Eyedropper Face" which is Lab 13 from the Carla Sonheim book Drawing Lab.  I used a small eye dropper and FW acrylic ink to draw the face, then painted it with watercolor. 


I'm really enjoying the "labs" in the Sonheim book - and will continue to work through them even though my art buddies returned home after our evening art sessions at our beach week.

July 18, 2010

Beach Week - Part 2

These are my morning journal pages from the second half of our beach week.  Each morning we would all go for an 8AM 2+ mile walk on the beach and the 3 wives collected things that we wanted to draw/paint while walking at the surfline.  These were our beach treasures.  The shells were not very plentiful this week, in comparison to just one week ago when we we there for July 4th holiday.

Morning 4:  We found one small dead fish, one children's plastic toy fish (blue) and one toy rubber flounder covered in sand in addition to several other types of tresures.  I sketched and painted these on one journal page as we set at the Cooper's Beach Snack Shack having coffee.


Morning 5:  I found a real assortment of things and put them all together as a still life with my empty coffee cup.


Morning 6:  I found a few shells and a beautiful long gull feather from one of the brown spotted gulls.  All week we used "google" to see if we could confirm that these large gulls were actually the young ones.  Anyone know?


Departure:  We kept a vase of fresh hydrangeas from the garden, in the kitchen, all week, and I finally decided that I needed to end my beach sketchbook pages with a painting of them.


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