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March 24, 2014

Figure Drawing at The New School - Parsons

I haven't gone to a Figure Drawing Session since my FIT Course ended last semester.  The Holidays were busy and then I started my Silk Dye Painting Class on the night I always went to the Society of Illustrators.  So I was a little apprehensive about attending a new drop-in location on Friday afternoon, but my friend Judy paved the way. 

They have 3 models who rotate the different sets of poses.  The first model did 20 one-minute poses.  YIKES!  These have never been fun for me - and she struck such bizarre poses that in the middle I just drew her head.  If you look at the right of these heads you can see that she literally threw herself on the floor and lifted up onto her shoulders with her feet in the air!

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I already sketched the 2nd model 3 previous times - two at the Society of Illustrators and once in my FIT class.  Familiarity, however doesn't necessarily make it easier. 

Here are 3 five minute poses of Blaine - and one 20 minute long pose.

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The 3rd model did some of the longer poses.  Here are 2 ten minute poses - and then one of approximately 15 minutes at the end of the session.

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All drawings were done with a Derwent Sketch and Wash pencil - so I could add water if I wanted to after the session.  There are on large paper and were photographed, not scanned.

March 10, 2014

Studying Under the Masters - De Felice 2

I just painted my "inspired by Francoise De Felice" painting.  For my composition I chose two of my figure drawings and transferred them to the Arches 10 X 14" 140 lb watercolor paper.

The first drawing was from a 20 minute pose of a pregnant model from 2010 at Figure Drawing at the Society of Illustrators in New York City.  I love this series of drawings and have even transferred some of them to Fabric. 

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The second figure was from a 10 minute pose done in 2013 at the Battery Park Conservancy outdoor figure drawing session (the middle drawing).

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 I transferred only the upper bodies of each figure.

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Then I added a watercolor underpainting for much of the surface using Winsor-Newton watercolors. 

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After the first layer dried, I painted very loosely mixing  alizarin crimson, French ultramarine blue, Winsor blue, Payne's gray, Van Dyke Brown, Yellow Ochre Pale, Quinacridone Gold, and Titanium White Gouache.

Here is my finished painting - which I probably will still work on a little because I am still not happy with the skin tones.   But it is time to move on to our week with apprentice Stephanie Lee and Master Artist Edward Hopper.

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March 4, 2014

Inspired by Pinterest - for Documented Life

Before I knew how many projects I was going to have this winter, I signed up for a year-long series of prompts called Documented Life.  I'm keeping track of the prompts, and will eventually catch up.  I actually did week 7 this week (they are on week 10) - in which I was supposed to look at Pinterest for inspiration for a journal page.

Full participants used Moleskine planners to make their journals.  I made folios of sketchbook paper and will fill them as signatures and then bind them into one book at the end of the year http://www.paperandthreads.com/2014/01/beginning_of_a_new_year.php.

I wanted to document my continual attendance at ballet class - 28 weeks since I restarted dance during the summer!  And I found a lovely photograph by Philip Rood that inspired my watercolor. 

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This photo "pin" was attributed to Philip Rood on Flickr.  The quote was on another pin with no attribution. 

February 10, 2014

Studying Under the Masters - Botticelli 2

This is the end of "Botticelli week" with apprentice/artist Jenny Lee Wentworth. I had to reflect back on what I learned from painting a Botticelli woman from a Rennaisance fresco and it is now time to use Botticelli's techniques in my own composition. 

I wanted to do a portrait and to select an image that showed serenity, much like Botticelli's women, and I finally selected a candid photo of my 9 year old grand daughter Sydney for my inspiration.  I have sketched her before and can never achieve a true likeness, but her photo was for inspiration - not for a portrait of her. 

I used watercolor and titanium white gouache for the background, like I did with my copy of Botticelli's "Grace" in the last blog post.  The rest of the painting was done with Winsor Newton watercolors.  Botticelli's painting of hair is very distinctive and and I used a partial layer of yellow ochre, then a mixture of neutral tint and Van Dyke brown, and then Van Dyke Brown alone to add a few more golden highlights.  The skin is a palette mixture of yellow ochre, permanent alizarin crimson, with a dab of Payne's Gray. 

I work with 3 triads on my watercolor palette - a warm red, blue, yellow, a cool red, blue, yellow, and a "Velasquez triad" - of yellow ochre, burnt sienna, and Payne's gray.  And over the years I added just a few convenience colors like the Van Dyke brown and neutral tint.  These 9 primaries really allow me to mix any color I want right on my palette, which I love to do!  

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Here is the photo of Sydney who was 8 years old when it was taken in August 2013.  I used it for inspiration for my Botticelli woman and although I tried, I didn't really capture her in a realistic portrait.  I get slightly closer over time, but not close enough.

 

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This morning I started to watch the videos for Danielle Donaldson's Week 5 studying Georgia O'Keeffe.  

January 28, 2014

Wonderful Art Inspiration

This is a terrific week in New York City to tour exhibits and galleries for inspiration.  After I registered for my Spring Semester Class at FIT (Painting on Fabric), Pat, Benedicte and I went to the Morgan Library and Museum for 3 exhibits:  Leonardo, Spanish Drawings, and St. Exupery's Little Prince.  http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/

The DaVinci drawings were spectacular and it was a spiritual experience being in the same gallery with them.  The Spanish drawings were also inspiring, especially those by Goya.  And the newest exhibit, The Little Prince, was amazing.

St. Exupery fled France with his wife after the Nazi invasion and lived in New York City with an enormous amount of support from friends.  He created The Little Prince while here, and after the publication of the book rejoined his squadron in Northern Africa where he died on a solo mission in his airplane.  Right before he left, he gave a big bag of manuscript pages and original illustrations to a friend, who gave them to The Morgan, and these make up most of the exhibit.  This illustration with the boabab tree was changed for the final - but I loved this iteration of the drawing best!!

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Master Drawings New York Week began last Friday and we scheduled two days to gallery hop on the Upper East Side of New York City.  Yesterday Pat, Benedict, Judy, and I went to 13 galleries and throughly enjoyed drawings from the 16th C. through the present.  One gallery had iPads mounted next to giclee prints by a Mexican Artist named Elena Climent - and the iPads scrolled through each of the layers she drew from the first scribbling through the final piece.

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I love Delacroix's drawings and watercolors from Morocco, and was thrilled to see one drawing of 4 heads of a Moroccan Man.  I took this photo and then drew one of the heads quickly to remember our day.  And this morning I sketched another copy of it to make myself yet one more magnetic bookmark.  For information about my magnetic bookmarkds see http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/06/more_watercolor_magnetic_bookm_1.php

 

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When exiting a gallery on E. 79th St. we saw a pile of architectural trash from a renovation.  The textures on the back of granite pieces stopped my artist friends in their tracks.  They took photos of the trash and I took one of them.  From left to right:  Benedicte, Pat, and Judy in Artic NYC.

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Tomorrow we are going to visit the remaining 14 galleries - and hopefully find lots more inspiration. 

This is Cezanne week with Artist Teresa Sheeley, so I am reviewing old notes and Cezanne paintings I did in the past and selecting a painting to copy now.