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October 30, 2010

Inspiration from the Recent Picasso Exhibit

Our Journal Study Group went together to see the recent Picasso exhibit at the Met.  Picasso's linocut reinterpretation of a Lucas Cranach II painting made us wonder whether could reinterpret a master painting and make a print using fun foam stamps. 

 Cranach.jpg

              Lucas Cranach II, Portrait of a Woman, 1564

Picasso.Cranach.jpg

   Pablo Picasso, Portrait of a Woman after Lucas Cranach II, 1564

Pat developed a method for this challenge and published a recent article about it (faux silk screen printing) in the September/October issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors. 

As we exited the Picasso exhibit, Melanie and I saw Cranach The Elder's painting of Judith with the Head of Holofernes and we immediately selected it for our challenge.  Pat selected a painting of St. Jerome by El Greco.  Today we gathered around my dining room table and made our prints.

I took a photo of the painting in the Met and made a painting in my sketchbook in preparation.  Today I traced it, transferred the image to adhesive backed fun foam, and made multiple stamps (at least 12!).  Here are the 3 images. 

Cranach Painting

Judith.Holofernes.size.jpg

   Lucas Cranach the Elder, Judith With the Head of Holofernes, 1530

My Sketchbook Page

Cranach.Judith.size.jpg

My Stamped Image:  approximately 6 X 9"

       Judith%2Csize.jpg

I ran out of room on my sketchbook page and didn't draw Holofernes' head.  I'll need to do it separately, make stamps, and add it to my next print. 

Go here to see Melanie Testa's print ( she has his head!) and here to see Pat Gaignat's print.  We agreed to each upload our prints this morning.  I thought for sure that Pat was going to describe me carving stamps with a box cutter or upload a photo of the mess I created, but she didn't.  She did however, talk about the men outside my window.  Our apartment building is in the final phase of facade repair, and since we live on the second floor, the scaffolds are right outside our windows.  Over the last year Pat has taken many photos of "the men."

We had lots of fun while working on our project, learning and experimenting as we went.  My drawing was biggest and I failed to simplify enough, so they were pushing me along. They wanted me to get done so I could make a tag for each of them before they left!  See the tags on Pat's blog post this morning.

October 29, 2010

More Strathmore Visual Journal Samples

I felt like playing yesterday and worked on 4 Strathmore Visual Journals simultaneously.

I colored each page with 3 different Neocolor II watercolor crayons and then wet them, mixing the colors even more.  After they dried completely, I used my pregnant model fun foam stamps and random other images on each page using pigment inks (Staz-On).  The pages still needed something more, so I added tracing paper collages of some of my drawings - adding them with a Uhu glue stick and then coloring the edges of the tracing paper with more crayons. 

When my friend Melly saw them today, she asked if I was making the 4 Seasons?  It was not my intention, but here they are as "seasons."

Winter - 90 lb watercolor paper:

S.Winter.WC90.size.jpg

 

Spring - 140 lb watercolor paper:

S.Spring.WC140.size.jpg

Summer - 90 lb mixed media paper:

S.Summer.MM.size.jpg 

Fall - 100lb Bristol vellum paper:

S.Autumn.Bristol.size.jpg

Comparisons:  All of the papers handled identically with the watercolor crayons, stamps, and collage.  And as I previously noted, all of the pages curled slightly, but flattened out when the book was reclosed.  This happened even with the 140 lb watercolor page (my new journal), although it was the least. 

Mixed Media - 100 lb paper:  I can see a faint image of the stamps on the back of the page, but the ink didn't leak through at all.  I wouldn't use the back of this page in my sketchbook.

Watercolor - 90:  There are random faint images that show through the page, meaning I'd be less likely to use the back of this page

Watercolor 140lb and Bristol Vellum had no shadows.

I like working on these journals, partly because I think of them as places to play.  My regular hand bound, cased-in watercolor journals with 140lb paper seem more permanent and therefore less likely to be used for 4 simultaneous pages.  You can see other entries on these new Strathmore visual journals by clicking on the Strathmore Visual Journal category on the right side bar, below the Archives.

 

 

October 27, 2010

Last Week's Field Trip With Art Buddies

I spent one day last week with my "artbuddies" Melly and Pat - lunch followed by the Morgan Museum, then supper, and then a lecture at the Textile Study Group of NY by Holly Heller.  Since we share interests in sketching/visual journals as well as art quilts, I knew that we would be sketching and I wanted to have my hands free.  I have a very small leather backpack for 1-2 hours of sketching, but such a long day required more stuff.  So I made, and wore, my new very light weight, silver, drawstring backpack and it was perfect for wallet, keys, comb, lipstick, kleenex, Metrocard, mini-umbrella, sketchbook, pencil case, small watercolor palette, etc.

                    SilverBackpack.jpg

I drew a grid and sketched/painted my lunch while waiting for Melly and Pat - then we spent the afternoon looking at the 4 exhibits in the Morgan Museum (home of J.P.Morgan).  We were primarily interested in the drawings of Lichtenstein and Degas, thus the other two sketches in the grid.  I continually read and hear about Benday Dots when viewing work by Lichtenstein and we had a great time imagining the origin of the word.  I was surprised to later learn from a Google search that the name comes from the first use of dots in newspapers, by Benjamin Day.  It was a good way to add color without adding lots of ink to newsprint.

JSG.Grid.jpg

At the end of the afternoon, we went back to the Degas exhibit and sketched our favorite drawings - and looked more at his sketchbooks (which are online).  I'm always optimistic that copying a favorite master may put some of their technique into my muscle memory - how I wish.  I love ballet and always loved Degas' dancers - especially the series of bronze sculptures owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Therefore, my favorite drawing was actually 3 drawings, from different angles, of the 14 year old model used for his most famous ballet sculpture (Dancer of 14 Years).

               DegasDancer.size.jpg

I hope that you'll look at the links to the exhibits if you won't be in NYC anytime soon.  Next - we need to go see the Spanish Drawings at The Frick!

October 23, 2010

Figure Drawing This Week

I really enjoyed drawing the two models at The Society of Illustrators this week -  and liked my four 5 minute poses best.  I'm thrilled that I was even able to get some facial features in these drawings - definitely some progress for me.

The woman model had a mohawk with very long gray hair down the stripe. 

           Scan10508.adj.size.jpg

 

The male model had very long dreadlocks and a very athletic nimble body - with fabulous short poses.

                  Scan10509.adj.size.jpg

These drawings were done with a 9B graphite pencil - thus the smudges.

October 20, 2010

Comparison of 3 Strathmore Visual Journals

I decided to do a direct comparison of the 3 Strathmore Visual Journals by doing a sketch in pencil, then ink, and finally reasonably wet watercolor painting.  See my previous post for information about why I am using these instead of my usual daily handbound watercolor journals.  I will tag each of these entries in the "Strathmore" category on the right sidebar. 

Here are the current 3 pages for comparison - all drawings were done at the same time, then ink was added to all at the same time, and then they were painted.  I painted the figures, going down the line.  After they dried, I painted all of the borders.  After they dried, I tried glazing with the complementary color and scrubbing with a stiff brush.  In reality I probably only waited 5-10 minutes between painting the layers.

 Watercolor:

                Scan10506.size.jpg

Bristol Vellum:

                Scan10503.size.jpg

Mixed Media:

                Scan10502.size.jpg

 

Conclusion:  The different paper types were more similar than different in this direct comparison with pen, ink, and watercolors.  Each of the pages buckled a little as it dried, but as soon as they were dry, I scanned them (not more than 1 hour later) and there were no shadows from the buckling.  And this morning, the pages are flatter.  The glazing looked similar on each, and I was able to lift a little paint from each page with a stiff brush, and with only a little roughing up of the paper.   I like to use both sides of my 140 lb watercolor paper, so next I need to test these pages further by painting on the other side. 

I've worked on a few other pages in each journal and after I've done a few more, I'll post the results for a single journal, one by one, showing the various ways I tested my tools in that journal.

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