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January 20, 2015

Fun Figure Drawing Exercises at MoMA

MoMA is offering drop-in Figure Drawing twice each month during the Toulouse-Lautrec Print Exhibit.  The models are actors and there are many props for them to use to evoke the café society of the Belle Epoque in Paris.  An art educator discusses Toulouse-Lautrec, his style, and his manner of capturing the performers on paper in the Cafes.  He then gives us many specific exercises during the 90 minute session - most are 3-5 minutes, the longest is 10.  Specific exercises include 1 min warm up to draw the whole figure, a quick seated pose, contour drawing, blind contour drawing, and gesture drawing.  Today I wanted to post other drawing techniques that were new to me as exercises and great fun.

Seated Pose - Model 1, Fast Profile:  I had great difficulty drawing this model's head because of her hair style. 

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Part 1 and Part 2 in Same Pose:  The model was seated on a windowsill and we had 10 minutes to sketch her.

Then we were given a small piece of colored paper and told to do a fast drawing of her in the same pose using a different tool.  I used a black Tombow marker. 

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Model 2:  The 1 + 9 Minute Exercise:  We were asked to draw the entire model in 1 minute.  After we put our pencils down, we were given 9 more minutes to add detail to only one part of the drawing.  I loved this exercise and realize that I usually go back and add detail everywhere - and this seems much fresher. 

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Capturing Active Poses:  Our model was asked to move from one body position to another, and then back again - relatively quickly (i.e. almost continuously back and forth).  We were asked to pick one point in the movement and draw it.  The model was repetitively lifting one leg to fix the strap on her shoe and then returning to a more stable position with both feet on the floor.  Her head rotated back to front as her body position shifted. 

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Model 2 - 10 minute pose to place her in an environment with a foreground, midground, and background. 

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A New Figure Drawing Exercise for Me:  Look at the model and draw her in only straight lines in 3 minutes.

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I will miss these sessions after they end in March.  The models are terrific, and the two art educators we've had were incredibly skilled at keeping the sessions moving along, introducing many ways to keep sketches fast, fresh and fun.  

January 11, 2015

Matisse Studio: Beyond the Cut-Outs

This wonderful program at the Museum of Modern Art ends today, although the exhibit continues into February.  Because I missed regular days over the holidays and while we were in Washington DC, I went to the Studio to "play" on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, including the Friday evening party marking the end of the program.  Some of my previous collages, including a fabric collage, already were posted to my blog in Oct, Nov, and Dec. 

On Wednesday I started a new series of collages - made by freehand cutting of figures and shapes in solid colors and on a solid background.  I used some advertisement cards from my ballet studio to select figures in motion, and then just began cutting - making arms, legs, torso, head etc as separate pieces.  I loved the experience and my series of 5 collages ended with a bigger piece that was cut freehand and glued during the party in 45 minutes.

Here are the collages in the series.  The first 5 collages were either copied on a color copier in reduced size at the Studio or scanned and resized digitally at home.  The last one was on a large sheet of brown paper given to each of us and had to be photographed and resized.

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My group of art friends, who regularly met at the Studio, are going to have withdrawal, much like when MoMA Print Studio ended in 2012. This Matisse program was popular with both adults and children, creating a new, young group of artists who were as enthused and playful as we were.  Everyone of us stretched our minds and skills during these sessions and remain forever grateful to the Education Department at MoMA for creating the Studio.  Thank you Sarah and Allison and your dedicated studio staff.

 

 

December 19, 2014

MoMA Toulouse-Lautrec Drawing Session

I went back to the Museum of Modern Art Toulouse-Lautrec Drawing Session again this week and these are 3 of the drawings I did.  The entire 90 minute session is tightly structured and we move from contour, to blind contour, to gesture, to moving gestures, and then some still poses.  These are poses of about 5 minutes duration - each with some change of props to create a café performer atmosphere.  The model is one of the actresses I sketched there before.

The drawings were done with a soluble graphite pencil and a waterbrush, and then photographed because of size. 

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December 9, 2014

Toulouse-Lautrec and I - a Hand-Bound Book

I made a book of my figure drawings for my end of semester FIT bookbinding project and will present it to the class tomorrow evening.  The Museum of Modern Art currently has a Toulouse-Lautrec Print exhibit and I sketched a figure from one of his prints during my first visit.  That drawing became the illustration that is embedded in my book cover.  The book cloth is hand-dyed fabric that I made.

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The book is 24 pages long and contains a mixture of Toulouse-Lautrec quotes and 14 of my drawings.  The drawings were done during two MoMA drawing sessions during which actress models were dressed in café society clothes with props  Each session was 90 minutes and each of these drawings were not much more than 5 minute poses. 

The session started with an introduction to Toulouse-Lautrec and a combination of contour drawings and gesture drawings for warm up.  After each of the 5 minute poses, the museum educator walked around with a few of our drawings and made comments.  I already posted some of my drawings from the first drawing session.  These are from the second session. 

 

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I'm thrilled with my book and the Basic Bookbinding class that I took this semester.  I was a self-taught bookbinder and learned so many tips from a professional. 

December 6, 2014

Two More Picasso Exhibits

Pat, Benedicte and I went to Chelsea on Wednesday to see more art exhibits, including two Picasso exhibits.  Pace Gallery had more of Picasso and Jacqueline art, in addition to other pieces.  I sketched there and added paint at home.  The two Pace Picasso exhibits were extraordinary!  So glad I was able to see both of them.

 

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Picasso used Delacroix's Women of Algiers painting for inspiration and created several paintings based on the Delacroix.  This was a small painting, but wonderfully complex and colorful.

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I loved the position of the naked woman on the floor, but mangled her legs while sketching her.     

 

 

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We also went to the Gagosian exhibit:  Picasso and the Camera.  They are a very different type of gallery.  They took our bags away from us as soon as we arrived.  And when I made a mark on the press release copy they were distributing, a guard pounced on me within 5 seconds and told me "no sketching allowed."  We later questioned the staff and learned that IPads were allowed for drawing.  There was one simple nude painting we liked and Pat made a quick sketch on her iPad and then found the image online.  This is her!

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