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April 27, 2007

More Figure Drawing Practice

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In 2003 I purchased a set of postcards of Leonardo DaVinci's portrait drawings during a visit to Vinci, Italy and his museum there.  One of the drawing exercises from a book I'm working through was to use a grid to reproduce a drawing and I decided to try it with a Leonardo portrait.  It was great fun - and I decided to leave my grid marks in place so I could remember the utility of the exercise and method.

More figure sketches from my Yoga "How-To-Book" - purchased only to use for figure drawing practice.  These are definitely challenging because of the extreme body positions and work very well for my daily sketches when I'm too tired to compose a more complicated daily sketch page in my journals.

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This year I hope to draw many more figures to develop some basic skills - but still don't have time for organized life drawing sessions.  I bought John Raynes' book The Figure Drawing Workbook at Green and Stone in London and I'm working through the lessons and exercises slowly.  These are a few of the first sketches completed.  I'm doing them in my recycled book of Michaelangelo sonnets, so you'll see one very yellowed page that I rebound from the original book.  The figure sketched on the sonnet page is actually inspired by Posemaniacs.com - the Japanese site that Cully recommended in one of his EDM messages.  I'm trying to use regular pencils, colored pencils, Conte pencils, and watercolor so I can also explore different media and papers. 

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April 22, 2007

Watercolor Skills Lessons: Lesson 3

I'm slowly working my way through Anne Elsworth's book and Lesson 3 is drawing "negative space."  This concept is never in my mind when I'm sketching and my spacing would be so much better if I could remember to combine positive and negative space. 

For the first exercise I sketched an old kitchen stool by just filling in the negative spaces.  I used a Derwent 4B pencil with a light wash.

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For the second exercise, I trimmed a plant and taped the leaves randomly to a piece of paper.  Then I used an Albrecht Durer watercolor pencil to sketch the negatvie spaces.

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For the last exercise, I created a kitchen "still life" and then sketched using a combination of positive and negative spaces. 

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I hope that this practice will make me remember how useful it is to always look at the negative spaces when sketching.  I know it intellectually, but just don't "see" them when I'm in the midst of a sketch.

April 21, 2007

EDM Challenge #115: Draw a Shopping Cart

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Our general supermarket is one-half block away and I take frequent walks there to pick up a few items at a time.  We also have several specialty shops with produce and prepared foods 1-2 blocks away and a butcher, fish shop, and bakery within the same area.  Each of the stores has shopping baskets for those of us that walk there and only carry home small bags of groceries.  This basket was sketched from a photo that I took early yesterday morning when I was purchasing milk, yogurt and a banana for breakfast because Friday is the day we take care of one of our grandsons. 

April 15, 2007

EDM Challenge #114: Draw Something Ugly

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I had a great deal of difficulty selecting something from my everyday life that was ugly, kept for sentimental reasons, and worthy of a sketch.  Our almost 35 year old salad spinner, purchased by our first Nannie for our small kitchen in LaJolla, is now cracked, but still working.  It is really ugly, especially with a crack in the lid.  It is also probably vintage and nearly a first edition!  But I just didn't feel like sketching and painting it.  So I selected my very favorite, brown leather, pocket-sized Filofax - which was purchased new when we moved to New York City in 1993.  The snap on the small piece  which closes the notebook is broken, and the estimate to replace it was $50 approximately 5 years ago.  A new comparable Filofax was only $85 and I just wasn't ready to retire mine.  So I made a small quilted wrap for the notebook and added a long piece of velcro along the end to close it.  It is still my only calendar and general all-purpose  notebook and it travels everywhere with me in my purse.

April 2, 2007

Ballet Dancers

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One of the joys of my visits to the Royal Academy of Arts in London is seeing the prints of Donald Hamilton Fraser's ballet dancers in the Museum Shop.  I purchased a "postcard book"  with 18 of his postcard size prints of dancers during one of my visits and I tried to capture his sketches in ink with watercolor washes as part of my figure drawing exercises.  I love ballet, I love dancers, I love sketches and painting of dancers, and especially his prints which I knew nothing about before visiting the Royal Academy this year.