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April 15, 2014

Simple Pencil Portraits

We spent last weekend celebrating the Bar Mitzvah of Daniel who is one of our closest friends' grandson.  We met his grandparents in 1969, even before Daniel's father Ben was born.  His birth may be one of the factors which made us more ready to start our own family.

I did these 2 portraits on blank 3 X 5" cards with a disposable mechanical pencil that was in my purse - while listening and watching the service.  They are now collaged on a page in my sketchbook to highlight the lovely event.

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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.