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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 14, 2011

Museum of Modern Art: Picasso's Guitars

Picasso's Guitars 1912-1914 just opened at the Museum of Modern Art.  The museum website for the exhibit is wonderful and ArtDaily.org has a great discussion of the exhibit with several photos.  I saw "Guitars"  last week with my Journal Study Group friends and did several sketches.

I enjoyed reading and hearing about the uniqueness of Picasso's cardboard and string primitive wall sculpture and never realized what an important step this was in art history.  My sketches include a flat version of the cardboard guitar, the metal guitar from the front and side to show the actual 3D shapes, and one of the exhibit collages - Student with a Pipe - just because I loved it!

Cardboard and String Guitar Sculpture Sketched with Watercolor Pencils:  

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Two Views of the Metal Guitar - sketched at the exhibit and painted at home:

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Collage - Student With Pipe:  I sketched this piece at the exhibit and then redrew it at home in this version.  There is a map of the galleries at MoMA as the first layer, then a layer of absorbent ground, then my drawing and watercolor paint to complete the image.

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January 30, 2011

Another Project

Almost 2 1/2 years ago I took a weekend book binding class to learn how to make a cased-in watercolor sketchbook.  Before that I was recycling old books, using their covers and sewing in watercolor paper signatures.  But I wanted to learn how a full watercolor journal was made by a skilled bookbinder. 

The book we made in class is bigger than any I used previously and too big for me to use as my daily sketchbook.  So I decided to dedicate it to paintings of my apartment.   But somehow the project became too precious.  I added only one page in 2009 and one page in 2010 and I constantly put off using it because I don't want to spoil it.  I need help and an attitude readjustment. 

Here are my two pages:

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Our living room fireplace 

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An antique golden oak draftsman's table  - now used for storage of supplies

January 27, 2011

Meet-Up Sketching at the Museum of Natural History

Sunday was our January Meet-up Central Park Sketching session at the Natural History Museum.  The group leader, Jesse Richards, does a fabulous job selecting places within the Museum for 30-45 minute sketches and when we started in the Asian Mammals section, we had the big room almost all to ourselves.  Here is the baby tiger that I loved in one of the exhibits.

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The Ocean Life section, under the blue whale was quite dark and I had problems seeing the paint colors as I added them on my Common Loon. 

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This Mammoth was drawn with a watercolor pencil and then brushed with water to shade it.  It is a sketch of a mammoth sculpture that is part of the huge mammoth skeleton exhibit.

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The Meet-up website, in the link above, has 90+ drawings from the participants for anyone interested in joining this group.

January 12, 2011

Watercolor Pencil at Figure Drawing

Last night was my first session at Society of Illustrators for 2011 and one of my art goals for this year is to move toward use of watercolor while drawing figures.  I decided that a good place to start is the 20 minute poses - and to use a watercolor pencil and then brush in the watercolor pigment with water.  My paper buckled when I added water, but I cleaned up the scan buckling lines a little with Photoshop before posting these.  Next time I will take watercolor paper for these experiments.  Stay tuned to see how long it takes me to move to watercolor and paintbrush - I move slowly....

I still did my first 20 minute pose in 9B graphite.  The contrast was increased a little for posting.

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These are the other two drawings - drawn with a Caran D'Ache mahogany watercolor pencil and then painted with water:

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Open this link, if you also clicked on the Society of Illustors link for Sketch Night in the first sentence:

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2010/11/figure_drawing_and_illustrator.php

Joan was sitting right next to me!