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August 8, 2010

Wandering Manhattan with Liz Steel and Borromini Bear

It is Liz's first trip to New York City and Friday was her first full day.  I asked her if she wanted to get a visitor Metro Card and go from the Upper Eastside, all the way down to Battery Park and the New York Harbor by bus and subway, stopping along the way to eat, sketch, and see things on her list.  And we did it! 

After a leisurely bus ride down 5th Ave to see Central Park, Museum Mile, The Plaza, St. Patricks, and Rockefeller Center from the bus window, we stopped at 42nd Street and the New York Public Library.  Here is Liz sketching the Chrysler Building.


And Borromini Bear watching her.


Here is the sketch that I did at the same time.  I'm not sure that she posted hers.


We then went into Bryant Park, behind the Public Library and Liz sketched the top of the Empire State Building while I analyzed a chair and table!  I was much more interested in watching an architect sketch this famous landmark, since I've struggled with it several times already.


After a walk through Times Square, a subway ride to Christopher St, a walk through the Village and Washington Square Park, we stopped for a quiet lunch and then resumed our walk in Soho.  This is the flat iron district and the buildings were so much fun to analyze.  Liz found a very complex one that she couldn't pass by.  We sat while she sketched the facade of the building while I sketched one of the columns.



She bought a quick art supply souvenir at Pearl Paint on Canal Street and then we took a bus down Broadway, through the Financial District, past Ground Zero, to Battery Park and a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty across the Harbor. 

We are planning another day together before she leaves, but you can follow Liz "sketching New York" now on her Flickr site or blog. 

August 7, 2010

A Few Watercolor Journal Pages From This Week

This was a busy week.  We visited our San Francisco friends at their lake house in NH as we do most summers.  And it was hot even in the woods.  The dogs were therefore sleepy much of the time and I could sit and sketch them more easily.  I just decided that I love square watercolor sketchbooks, but then needed to put both pages together in Photoshop because I couldn't fit the double pages on my scanner!


We also stop at the Farm Stand to buy some fresh produce and flowers to take with us.  This is one ear of corn before husking and one of many varieties of sunflowers that they grow.


We returned home Thursday and on Friday morning at 8:30 met a fabulous visitor at the corner of 96th St. and Lexington in NYC.  Can you guess who?  How about if I tell you that today is Borromini's 3rd birthday?  In the few minutes while I was waiting, I sketched the flower in one of our many flower stands and painted it after a full day of exploration, talking, sketching, and fun.  More later....



July 31, 2010

Bethesda Fountain, Central Park - Then and Now

I started sketching in 2003, after buying Gwen Diehn's book The Decorated Page.  It took me almost 2 years to fill a watercolor sketchbook because I was still working long hours.  One of those early sketches, and watercolor painting with student grade watercolor paints, was of Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, New York. 

This morning it was 68 degrees and sunny when I woke up and I couldn't resist an 8AM walk to the Park and to Bethesda Fountain for another sketch.  I thought it would be fun to upload my first sketch and this morning's sketch since I didn't even start sketching daily or start my blog until Jan. 2006.

Here is a sketch from July 2003:


 I then redrew the top of the fountain and painted it the same morning:


And here is my still unpainted sketch from this morning - from a different bench.  The sun was changing the shadows very quickly, so I took a photo and will paint it at home sometime soon.  The faint pencil lines are the top of the trees/sky line.



July 29, 2010

Figure Drawing at the Society of Illustrators - New York

I started going to figure drawing sessions in September 2009, and averaged one session per month over the whole year.  There is now a summer break until after Labor Day and that seems a long time away.  I think I'm making progress, and more frequently sketch faces during the longer poses.  Here are the two 10 minute poses and two 20 minute poses done this week.







July 21, 2010

Matisse Exhibit at Museum of Modern Art

A new Matisse exhibit opened at MoMA on Sunday - entitled Radical Invention, 1913-1917.  The paintings were somber in color and he was definitely experimenting with the human form, culminating in his painting The Bathers.  I sketched faces from one of his paintings and several of his prints for the Prisoners of Bohain-en-Vermandois.



I then use3d one of the drawings to inspire my "Eyedropper Face" which is Lab 13 from the Carla Sonheim book Drawing Lab.  I used a small eye dropper and FW acrylic ink to draw the face, then painted it with watercolor. 


I'm really enjoying the "labs" in the Sonheim book - and will continue to work through them even though my art buddies returned home after our evening art sessions at our beach week.