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May 2, 2016

Portraits in Public Places

Several years ago I worked my way through Carla Sonheim's book  Drawing Lab.  For Exercise 16 we were asked to draw 100 Faces, and I sketched most of the Faces on public transportation, and painted them with watercolor later.  Since then I always have blank 3X5" index cards and a ball point pen with me - even when I'm carrying the smallest purse. 

Week 3 of the online class Sketchbook Skool - Polishing is Brooklyn Artist Vin Ganapathy, and he showed us his sketchbook portrait illustrations and did a wonderful demo.  He had willing subjects sitting next to each other, and he did a fast live sketch of them on the couch to keep the drawing fresh (15 minutes).   He ended the session by taking some photos, and then later added some finishing details - darkening lines, adding shadows, and adding color with markers.  He stressed the importance of the fast sketch done live for freshness and details added later to improve the drawings.

My drawings are live, but I try to draw my subjects surreptitiously on buses and subways, so I don't have photos.  And because my subjects may leave at the next stop, all are very fast sketches.  My most recent ones are below.

 

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I will keep drawing my subway/bus people until I can beg my friends, maybe on vacation in June, to let me draw them and take photos so I can practice Vin's technique. 

April 22, 2016

Drawing Hands Continued April 2016

The Battery Park Conservancy outdoor free drop-in art sessions will begin again the first Wednesday in May, and that always inspires me to work on my hand drawings.  I attend on Wednesdays, weather permitting.  In the morning the group and artist administrators are in Wagner Park from 11-1 and the gardens, NY Harbor, and the Lower Manhattan skyline are all wonderful subjects.  In the afternoon they reassemble in the South Cove for clothed figure drawing. 

These 3 drawings were done with a watercolor pencil, without water, using hands from magazine advertisements. 

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April 8, 2016

Deliberate Practice: Drawing Hands

I love figure drawing and I'd love to be able to capture the hand positions of the models.  If I succeed at all, it is only in the 20 minute poses.  These hands were all drawn from photos I collect from fashion catalogues or the New York Times Magazine sections.  My drawing was done with a watercolor pencil, without adding water.  I love how easily it erases and can convert it to paint at any time with a watercolor brush. 

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I found a great watch advertisement with 4 hand photos and was inspired to keep drawing this week.  Here are the two that I finished.  

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April 1, 2016

Last Figure Drawing at Battery Park City

This was the last of our 9 Art Sessions at Battery Park City until the drop-in program begins in the South Cove from May - Oct.  Our model was Claudia, and there were many challenging poses this week.  

Two Minute Poses:  Three chosen from 10 drawn.  I'm beginning to feel as if these are easier for me.  I draw with a 4B graphite pencil on Newsprint.

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Five Minute Poses: Three of four that I sketched with General Sketch and Wash pencil and shaded with a NiJi waterbrush.

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Ten (Left) and Twenty (Right) Minute Poses:  The watercolor was added during the 10 minutes pose time, and the soluble graphite was spread with a waterbrush during the 20 minute pose. 

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Twenty Minute Pose:  I shuddered as our Art Instructor kept rotating the head of the table away from me and my view had increasing foreshortening.  It is hard to remember to draw only what you see in this instance, but I did it and now feel more confident about these challenging poses.

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Today I went to Neue Gallerie with friends and saw so many inspiring figure drawings/paintings by Munch and the other Expressionists.  After lunch we went to Galerie St. Etienne and saw "quick" Ludwig Kirchner figure sketches.  I recommend both exhibits, but especially Neue.   

March 22, 2016

Wednesday Figure Drawing at Battery Park City

I first want to send condolences to the people of Brussels for the horrible terrorist bombings this morning.  A good friend of ours was in the airport, close to the bomb blast, but is uninjured.  Wednesdays are my day to go past the World Trade Center Memorial as I cross Lower Manhattan to go to figure drawing, and these random bombings reawaken many of the feelings I had living in Manhattan in 2001.   

I love going to Lower Manhattan for Figure Drawing on Wednesdays.  When I was looking up at the Freedom Tower (WTC1) last Wednesday and posting photos to my blog, I had no idea that we would be reflecting on yet another terrorist attack in Europe this Wednesday. 

We had a model that I've drawn before, and this week she had her Very Curly Hair au naturelle, and stayed in the same clothes for most of the session.

These are my first two minute poses - always used for warmup.  I sketched her with a 4B graphite pencil on newsprint - which is hard to flatten out for photographing.

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These are three 5 minute sketches done with a General Sketch and Wash pencil - with paint added in the final seconds before the end of the pose, or in one case during her 5 minute break. 

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One 10 minute pose:

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The final pose - done in 15 minutes - and not painted because I was too tired.

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On Wednesday May 4th, the Figure Drawing sessions will move to the South Cove of Battery Park City - through October 26th, weather permitting.