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March 4, 2015

Studying Under the Masters - Max Beckmann

Max Beckmann was the 3rd Artist in this series, and his apprentice was a UK painter named Gillian Lee Smith.  I knew very little about Beckmann, a German Expressionist Painter, but quickly learned that he was second only to Rembrandt in the number of self-portraits he painted.  He was born in Leipzig Germany in 1884, and decided very early that he wanted to be an artist.  He served in WWI as a medic but had an emotional breakdown and was medically discharged.  By 1930 he was a very successful German artist, but he was featured in the Degenerate Art exhibit in 1937 and his career destroyed.  He and his wife fled to Amsterdam for 10 years and then to the United States after WWII.  He had an art school teaching position in St. Louis and then New York, and died in Central Park in 1950 on a walk between his apartment and the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see one of his paintings.  I chose Self-Portrait in Olive and Brown to copy.

My copy is on the left, the original on the right.  I used watercolor, white, and black gouache, for my painting on 9X12 Arches 140 lb cold press paper.  It doesn't have the same range of values as Beckmann's and  I don't feel as if I captured his stern, almost angry, expression, 

   

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After doing a copy, each apprentice reflects on what they learned by copying the Master and then paints an original using some of those techniques.  I selected a New Year's Eve photo I took this year to paint.  Like Beckmann, it captures an individual and a face at one moment in time.  And I hope that it conveys the emotion of a young girl, celebrating the New Year, but in her own world.  I tried to use black to define the face and clothing like Beckmann did, but my lines, using a rigger brush are definitely not as bold. 

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February 24, 2015

February Figure Drawing

Two Meet-up Groups are co-sponsoring Figure Drawing weekly during these cold weeks of Winter.  You must be a member of Meetup Draw New York or the Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup groups to attend, but it is really easy to join and both groups have drawing sessions in other indoor venues as well this month.  These are just 4 of the drawings I did on February 14th.

 

The drawings were done with a soluble graphite pencil and then shaded with clear water and a Niji waterbrush.  They were scanned, adjusted, and resized in Photoshop.

 

Five Minute Sketch: 

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Five Minute Sketch of Each Pose Separately:

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Ten Minute Pose:

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Fifteen Minute Pose:

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February 17, 2015

Toulouse-Lautrec Exhibit Figure Drawing at MoMA

 I did more figure drawing at the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit education session.  We had a new Art Educator and two models who were employees in the MoMA Education Department.  They received more instruction about poses than usual, but were really great at holding the pose.  The drawings were done with a soluble graphite pencil and then shaded with clear water from a Niji waterbrush.  The images were scanned, adjusted and resized in Photoshop.  There are 3 more sessions before the exhibit closes at the end of March.  I just selected 3 of my drawings from the 90 minute session.

While I was waiting for the Figure Drawing session to begin I copied this drawing of my favorite Toulouse-Lautrec model from one of his prints. 

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These two models posed together and were drawn together in 5 minutes. 

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Another 5 minute pose:

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I was getting tired after many poses, and decided to concentrate on a portrait during the last 10 minutes of the session.

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February 6, 2015

January Figure Drawing

The Central Part Sketching and Art Meetup Group is now meeting each Saturday during the winter for figure drawing, and yesterday was the first session.  The model looked like a runway model, probably 6 feet tall and all angles and boney prominences.  I really enjoyed drawing her and here are 5, 10, and 20 minute poses, all drawn with a soluble graphite pencil, on 12 X 15" watercolor paper, with added shading done with clear water and my flat Niji waterbrush.   The drawings were photographed, not scanned.

Two 5 Mintue Poses:

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Two 10 minute Poses: 

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Two 20 Minute Poses:

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February 3, 2015

Studying Under the Masters - Pablo Picasso

It is Week 2 for me in the online course Studying Under the Masters.  The Master for this week is Pablo Picasso, and over the years I have copied many of his drawings, because I love the images he can capture drawing only a few lines or one continuous line.  So it was time to copy a painting!  The painting "Reading at a Table" is at the Met, and as soon as I saw it in the new Reinventing Modernism Galleries, I knew that I wanted to try to paint her!  As before, the Master is on the left, and my painting is on the right.  I used watercolor and black and white gouache instead of oil, and loved trying to achieve some of the spirit of Picasso. 

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I debated a variety of portraits for my "painting inspired by Picasso" and finally realized that I could use one of my figure drawings from MoMA for the subject.  I made this sketch of the actress model in the Toulouse-Lautrec Drawing Session in 3 minutes, using only straight lines to draw her image.  I took a scan of that drawing as the basis for my painting and then experimented with backgrounds.  I loved the candle in Picasso's painting, so I added it to mine, and then needed to work out the rest of the setting and color palette. 

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And here is my finished painting.  I usually draw and paint in watercolor sketchbooks and for this series of paintings I'm using Arches 140 lb cold press watercolor paper in a 9 X 12 block.

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Next Week:  Max Beckmann, the German Expressionist Painting.