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July 5, 2016

Figure Al Fresco - Drawing John

Figure Al Fresco - The Battery Park City Summer Adult Art Program:  The model was well known to us, and we politely asked him if he could take off his baseball cap and socks!  It was a great improvement.  These are several of my 2 minute sketches, done with an 8B pencil on newsprint.  Everything in this blog post was photographed because of the paper size.

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Five Minute Poses:  These longer poses were drawn with a soluble graphite pencil and then "shaded" with a waterbrush with clear water.

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Ten-Twenty Minute Poses:  I rarely can sustain my interest for more than 10 minutes, so I filled in the time by drawing another artist behind John in these two poses.  The artist drawn behind John, on the left, has a  hat on with a huge brim keeping the sun out of her eyes.

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June 23, 2016

Recent Figure Drawings

I love figure drawing, and always hope that regular practice is making my drawings better.  From May through October I go to Battery Park City weekly for Figure Al Fresco, which is held outdoors and the models clothed.  Several weeks ago we began our session with 10 one minute poses, and here my first four.  Although it is always hard for me to be certain, I really think that I'm getting better at catching these poses in a very short period of time.  This and the next drawing were photographed instead of scanned.

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I went to the Society of Illustrators last week with one of my out-of-town guests, and was very happy to be back.  These are some of my 5 minute, 10 minute, and 20 minute poses.

Five Minute Poses:

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Ten Minute Poses:

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Two Twenty Minute Poses:

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When I'm back at the Society of Illustrators I remember how much I enjoy this venue and two nude models posing simultaneously.  This time I sketched one of the models most of the time - because I liked her poses, and because of where I was sitting.  The SOI sketched were done with soluble graphite pencils.

 

June 16, 2016

Final Monotype Workshop at MoMA NYC

Tuesday was the final weekly Monotype Workshop at MoMA - all associated with their wonderful Degas Exhibit.  This was my 3rd visit to the workshop, and I wanted to draw more dancers. I scanned a drawing I did of my ballet teacher, resized it, and printed out several copies to take with me.  When I arrived at the workshop I cut out the image and manipulated it several times to make 3 prints and 2 ghosts.  Here is my original drawing - resized - and the cut-out which became coated with the Akua printmaking ink. 

 

 

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I inked the printing plate and used my cut-out to trace the image in the ink.  Then I used Q-tips to remove more ink and complete the drawing.  This is the first monotype off the printing press.  

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There was still enough ink on the plate to make a good ghost print, and I hope that I can rework the ghost  with ink marks, pastels, paint, or color pencils the way Degas did with his ghost prints. 

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Three Dancers:  I pressed the dancer cut-out on the inked plate 3 times and used the vague imprints to add additional marks in the ink.  I also got a great ghost print after this monotype was printed.

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For my final monotype I put my cut-out, which was now full of ink, on my plate and used a huge brush and additional ink to brush ink on the plate - with brushstrokes beginning on the cut-out and going to the edges of the plate.  I then carefully removed the cut-out and put the plate through the printing press.

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The Museum of Modern Art is a wonderful resource for artists and this collection of workshops were very well attended.  Thank you MoMA. 

May 27, 2016

Flowers and Figure Drawing

Wednesday is Art Day in Battery Park City from now through October.  This week I went to the morning session in Wagner Park, searching for newly bloomed flowers and painted 3 flowers, all growing from the same stem.  I chose them because I could sit in the shade on the artist stools the Conservancy provides!  But it presented me with the challenge of drawing white flowers on white paper - and kept me happily engaged for an hour.

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In the afternoon I arrived in South Cove (2 blocks away) just as one of the big ships was sailing around the tip of Manhattan and heading north up the Hudson River for fleet week.  There were sailors lined up all around the ship looking at the beautiful views of Lower Manhattan.

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I love Claudia, who was our model for Figure Al Fresco.  I've sketched her before and have good memories of those sessions.  Here is my work for our two hour session - photographed instead of scanned because of the paper size.  I had a mat at home that I put around my longer pose drawings just for fun!

From 10 One Minute Poses:

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Our 4 Five Minute Poses:

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My 4 Ten Minute Poses - I only sketched for 10 minutes even with the 20 minute pose: 

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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.