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March 5, 2011

My Favorite Figure Drawing Exercises

I love figure drawing and try to do regular exercises to help with my drawing technique.  Here are 3 of my favorite, regular exercises - in addition to drawing hand photos from an American sign language website. 

One of Carla Sonheim's Drawing Labs is to draw 100 Faces.  I decided to draw most faces from live models and carry a pouch with watercolor cards, pen, pencil, eraser, 8 watercolor pencils, and the large Niji waterbrush with me when I'm I'm on NYC public transportation.  It is challenging to draw without the model knowing - or having fellow passengers comment.  And sometimes the model is only in their seat for one bus or subway stop.  Here are 2 of my latest. 

 The drawing on the left was done with an indigo Prismacolor colored pencil - one of Kate Johnson's recommendations for shaking things up.

 

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I love the challenge of drawing from Posemaniacs.com - using their 90 second program.  I usually will spend 10 minutes doing these drawings to warm up for a scheduled trip to Live Figure Drawing.  These figures were drawn with a watercolor colored pencil and then brushed with water.

 

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Someone on some blog - sorry I can't give credit where it is due - recommended this exercise for practicing portrait drawing.  I look for faces in magazines that are about the size of my journal page and then cut them in half, gluing in the side I will copy.  I'd love to have 5" front facing, colored photos of less perfect models (i.e. interesting faces) to draw.  But I haven't found a source in color, of that size, in hard copy.  I think I need to haunt the used book stores for cheap sources.

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February 24, 2011

Another Day at the Met

I went back to the Met on Holiday Monday with my friend Judy and I saw two more new exhibits.

Guitar Heroes is a collection of guitars, violins, mandolins, lutes, and even a ukulele - the guitars from the 1930s on and most others several hundred years old and beautiful.  Drawing a Stradivari violin from 3 views was a real treat.  There is a wonderful website for anyone wanting to look, listen, and draw.

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Cezanne's Card Players is very special to me.  In 2007, I selected the Met version of the painting for in depth study - and drew and painted it several times in my sketchbook.  You can read about the impetus and see my first versions here.  Last year I sketched only the standing peasant - and on Monday I copied a preparatory drawing by Cezanne of Paulin Poulet, the seated card player on the left in the Met painting.  By the end of the exhibit, I think I will be there weekly!

This exhibit was organized by the Courtauld Gallery in London and the Met.  The best coverage is on the Courtauld website, with 3 short podcasts.  The 5 Card Player paintings and the preparatory paintings and drawings are considered to be part of Cezanne's most important work. 

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February 20, 2011

Meet Up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group sketched at the Met yesterday - beginning in the Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand photography exhibit and ending in the American Wing.  I thoroughly enjoy these sessions because I'm forced to select a subject and then to sketch it quickly before we move on.

I saw the photography exhibit previously and loved Steichen's portrait of Stieglitz, so that was the subject of my first sketch.  The Museum website has a good podcast and all of the exhibit photos - so I printed out the Stieglitz portrait to accompany my sketch when I got home. 

I also had a few minutes to sketch others in our group while they were sketching other photographs.

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We then moved to the American Wing for several more sketches.  For my final drawing, I sketched a tiny figure from a huge painting that completely lined a very large oval museum room.   The painting is a Panoramic View of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles  that was painted by an American artist named John Vanderlyn in 1818-19.  The museum website has photos of sections of the whole painting and you can click among them.  My man was one of many people in the painting that were strolling the grounds of Versailles.

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Our Meetup group leader took a low resolution photo of me while I was sitting on the floor sketching - and it shows the very large size of this painting.

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February 18, 2011

February Figure Drawing at the Society of Illustrators

I go to figure drawing monthly at the Society of Illustrators and still love it.  Tuesday night we had a male and female model and here are my 10 minute and 20 minute drawings. 

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February 4, 2011

Hand Drawings

I am slowly practicing drawing hands from photos on the American Sign Language site.  I am moderately pleased with these drawings, but when I am faced with a real model, and hands are only part of the challenge, I can't draw individual fingers.  Oh well!  

 Here are my most recent hand drawings.  And then I added some drawn from photos of one of my grandchildren's hands.The sign language hands were drawn with a watercolor pencil and then brushed with water.  My grand daughter's hands were drawn with a standard color pencil.

 

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