Page 69 of 79

March 18, 2011

March 2011 Figure Drawing

Another evening of figure drawing at the Society of Illustrators.  This was a fun evening because my art buddy Teri met my book group friend Istar for the first time and they had so many things to talk about during dinner and our breaks.

There were two models for each pose (one standing and one sitting) - starting with ten 2 minute poses for warm up, then four 5 min., two ten minute, and finally three 20 minute poses.  Throughout the 3 hours, two musicians played and I sipped a glass of wine.  During the final pose, the models always pose together - by then we should be able to handle two models in 20 minutes.  

I used a 9B graphite pencil for the first drawing and watercolor pencil (Burnt Siena and then Chestnut) for the second and third drawings.  Last night I wasn't in the mood to fuss with faces, so we need to imagine them.  The woman model reminded me of Botticelli's venus and my skills just couldn't capture her beauty. 

My current sketchbook doesn't fit on my scanner, so these are photos.





March 15, 2011

A Visit to the Morgan Library and Exhibit

Last week my Journal Study Group met Gwyneth Leech at her gallery exhibit entitled "Hypergraphia" and visited the Diary Exhibit at the Morgan Library.  Pat already posted some information about our day on her blog.  

I love books, notebooks, journals, log books, and diaries and I'm almost embarassed by the number I created over many years.  It was a thrill to look at actual diaries from the Morgan collection, especially several that contained sketches and watercolor paintings.  The Morgan website has podcasts and readings of many of the diaries.

Illustrated Diary #1:  The peasant woman that I painted below was sketched from an anonymous diary entitled "Focus on Fashion: A Lady's Travelogue (1869)."  I would love to see some of the other pages to see more fashions and her biting descriptions. 


Illustrated Diary #2:  My real favorite, however, was one kept by Fanny Tremlow.  This photo from her diary was downloaded from this website.


Illustrated memoir by Fanny Twemlow (1881-1989), a British woman in a World War II internment camp in France, 1940-41. Gift of Julia P. Wightman, 2006.

In December 1940, the German army carried out a swooping raid throughout Occupied France aimed at rounding up any woman found in possession of British papers. The subsequent internment of some 4000 women was carried out during one of the coldest winters in living memory. English spinster, Miss Fanny Twemlow, was among those unlucky enough to end up in the infamous camp, Frontstalag 142, on the French-German border. Throughout her captivity, she was determined to secretly make sketches of camp life as well as keep a diary.

FRONTSTALAG 142: The Internment diary of an English Lady, by Katherine Lack will soon be published.

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.



I love the challenge of drawing from - 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.




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.





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.


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. 


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.




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.


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.