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September 24, 2012

NYC Harbor Cruise and Figure Drawing

Last week Pat and I took my friend Kathy for a ride on the Staten Island Ferry.  It is one of the best activities in New York City .  It is free and ferries depart every 30 minutes.  You need to get off the ferry in Staten Island, but there are little restaurants in the ferry terminal and a huge tropical fish tank to keep you from getting bored before you board a ferry for the return trip.

These are the New York City Ferry Terminals as we were departing.

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The view of Battery Park and the Financial District is spectacular.  The tall building on the left is the new Freedom Tower - built on the North edge of Ground Zero.  They are still working on the very top.

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The ferry sails close to the Statue of Liberty.  This photo was taken with the zoom on my point and shoot camera.

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We only had a few minutes to draw the fish - they were painted back in NYC during lunch.

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We sat along the seawall for our figure drawing session to stay warm in the sun.  This is a photo of part of our sketching group.

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I'm only posting my two 10 minute sketches.  Joseph was a terrific model, and in the majority of poses he was sitting in challenging positions on the rocks.

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September 17, 2012

Figure Drawing in Battery Park City

Last Wednesday Pat and I spent the morning at the Met - at the Preview of the new exhibit "Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years," and the afternoon at Figure Drawing Alfresco.  Since then my days were devoted to our new grandson.  Today I went back to my sketchbook and scanned a few of my sketches for my blog.

I like that we begin the session with 10 one minute sketches.  The time goes VERY QUICKLY and I barely breath while trying to capture an image.  I know these are exercises for warming up, but I still like to define the position of the model.  John uses a park bench very effectively in his poses.

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Two minute sketches:  The coordinator of these sessions tries to remind us not to slow down or our two minute sketches will look just like our one minute sketches.  I love being reminded, because my tendency is to slow down instead of using the extra time for refinement.

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Five Minute Sketch:

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Ten Minute Sketch:

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Twenty Minute Painting:  I hoped that I could draw figures with my paintbrush - sometime in the future.  For the last year I sketched models with my watercolor pencils, and then painted them with water for shading.  Our model John reclined on a big rock, with the Hudson River lapping on the seawall behind us and I finally decided that I was so relaxed that I would draw him with my brush.  Unfortunately he was dressed completely in beige and the rock was light gray, so there is NO range of values in my painting.  The faint drawing that can be seen is pencil added after the paint.  Couldn't resist it!  But I DID draw with my brush!

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September 8, 2012

Drawing Practice - Portraits and Hands

I recycled a discarded $1.00 book entitled Artist and Model and now have watercolor paper in it to practice figure drawing from photos.  I snip photos from magazines, especially hands, feet, and faces to practice drawing.  I also love to copy drawings from the Masters. 

Nancy Tasker (from the Everday Matters online art group) and I decided to exchange images from the Masters and this week I copied her John Singer Sargent drawing of Myra Hess. Myra was a British pianist who was well known for establishing more than 150 lunchtime concerts in the National Gallery in London during the Blitz.  Concert Halls were closed and these lunchtime concerts significantly raised British morale.

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I searched for images of Myra Hess with Google this morning and found another artist who used the Sargent drawing for his drawing practice.  I can't wait to go back and look at his blog, the most recent blog post was about the benefits of drawing daily!

When our daughter and her family were living in London, we discovered Sargent's studio/home in her neighborhood, so drawing this brought back fond memories of a wonderful walk and gorgeous home.  Here is my photo.  31 Tite Street to the Left and 33 to the Right.  Oscar Wilde lived at 34.

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I keep magazine photos of hands in my Artist and Model sketchbook so I can draw them when I have nothing to paint in my daily sketchbook.  These hands were drawn while I was watching the evening TV coverage from the Democratic National Convention.  If only my drawing practice made a bigger difference when I'm drawing hands on live models!

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                    Mahogany Caran D'ache  Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencil with Water

August 31, 2012

Slow, Steady Progress - Face Profiles from August

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August 27, 2012

Beach Weekend

We spent the weekend at the beach with our daughter and her family.  The children are there during August, so we love visiting in order to see them.  My husband and I walk 2 miles on the beach each morning and Sydney joined us on one of the days.  She has wonderful energy and last appeared on this blog after her 8k Firecracker run.  

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I took lots of photos of her running in the surf and painted this sketchbook page from a photo.

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The next day I set up a beach still life (weathered plywood, gull feather, pine cone) + some hydrangea petals to add color.

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All of our New York grandchildren will spend next weekend with us in the City and then start school .  Summer is officially over!