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October 14, 2010

I was the lucky recipient of 3 of the new Strathmore Visual Journals from Rice Freeman-Zachary,  and I promised that I would use them and share my comments.  

These are very nicely sized books (5.5 X 8 inches) - not too big for purses, backpacks etc and not too small for those of us that like generous sized pages for their daily sketches. They have a thin first page with information about the journal which can be ripped off revealing a plain, sturdy brown front cover that is aesthetically more pleasing if you will keep the journals. Both front and back covers are very sturdy and make it very easy to sketch and paint in the books without other support. However, they are spiral - which means you need to learn to deal with the metal when drawing close to the edge of the page. And it may be tempting to remove pages that you don't like.


My first 7 daily journals were very similar in format - but with thinner covers and paper. I had problems working freely in journals that felt too precious and wrote essays about "journal angst." These sketchbooks would be good for beginners and for anyone suffering from similar angst.

Yesterday I followed Jane LaFazio's tutorial on mixed media journal pages - gluing on a map of Manhattan, then lightly painting the glossy map with Golden absorbent ground and then drawing and painting with pigma micron pens and watercolor washes.  The paper in this 90lb Strathmore Mixed-Media Visual Journal buckled a little, but I was able to scan it without scanner shadows from paper buckling.

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I will periodically upload pages that I do in the 2 other Strathmore Visual Journals - the 90 lb watercolor journal and the 100 lb Bristol-vellum journal.  I already have 3 pages done in each and love the playful attitude that I have about using them.  I still love my handbound, cased-in, watercolor journals with 140 lb watercolor paper, especially now that I am also dying fabric for the book cloth.  But these Strathmore journals are really easy to pick up and use when you just want to experiment and draw/paint something.

October 12, 2010

Tudor City and UN Plaza, Manhattan

The Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group went to Tudor City, in Manhattan, this weekend.  It is a lovely apartment complex with quiet parks embedded among the buildings, and it overlooks the United Nations Plaza.  Here are the two sketches that I did while we were there.   

The Tudor buildings have wonderful architecture and I was captivated by this stained glass window, with gold lights shining through.

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For our second sketch session, my friend Benedicte and I sat on a bench overlooking the UN Plaza and sketched the buildings.  The group will next sketch in Battery Park, another place in the City that I don't know very well.

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October 5, 2010

Figure Drawings from September

Thursday evening at the Society of Illustrators is with "costumes."  At my last session, both models were dressed as gun molls - and sketching was much more difficult than usual.  Here are several of my drawings that were "least bad."

Two Minute Poses:

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Five Minute Pose:

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Ten Minute Pose:

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My current sketchbook is too big for my scanner, and I can't prevent the shadows on these drawings without transforming them in Photoshop like I did in the middle pose.  While drawing these, we were listening to a 3 piece jazz combo - a real treat that is part of the experience at the Society of Illustrators.

 

September 27, 2010

Sketching From the Brooklyn Promenade

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The Central Park Sketching and Art Meet-up Group met in Brooklyn Heights, on the Promenade, to sketch.  The view of lower Manhattan is wonderful and it is hard to remember that the World Trade Center Towers were twice as tall as the tallest buildings in my photo. 

I sketched just the buildings at the very tip - trying to figure out how to best represent all of the windows.  The tiny little orange object at the far left of my sketch is the front of the Staten Island ferry, pulled into the terminal.

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The Brooklyn Bridge is also part of this glorious scene.  For my last sketch of the 3, I sketched the Manhattan towers of the bridge.

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This sketching group now meets twice each month - and this year moved out of Central Park on many occasions.  By scheduling one day each month on Sat. (11AM-2PM) and one on Sun, I usually can get to one of the sessions.  Yesterday four of us from the Journal Study Group were there.  I'm so glad that I went, because I rarely go to Brooklyn even though it is so close.

September 24, 2010

A Full Day of Drawing

Yesterday my husband and I went to an open rehearsal of the Philharmonic Orchestra in NYC - with Itzhak Perlman playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.  While my husband waited on line inside Avery Fisher Hall, I sketched the new Lincoln Center Plaza Fountain with State Theater behind it.

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I'm trying to fill up one of my first recycled books and it has paper that I hate.  And my scanner also hates it and the buckling of the paper shows as dark shadows. 

It is great fun to see the Orchestra and Conductor dressed in jeans and T-shirts - and to hear parts of each piece several times while they work on it.  I'm getting better at sketching people who return to the same or similar positions frequently so I decided to sketch the Music Director, Alan Gilbert, while he was conducting the first piece.  Then I sketched the Concertmaster.

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After sketching at the morning concert, I felt like sketching more and went to Figure Drawing at the Society of Illustrators last night.  Before the models appeared and while the jazz group was setting up, I did a quick small painting of the bass player.  Sketches from figure drawing will be scanned and uploaded later....

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My blog has been down several times in the last week, and my poor son, who maintains the server it was on, had to come home from several long days at work and try to fix it.  Last night he moved it to a new server, so I think it will be OK.  Isn't he amazing?  Although he is a self-taught computer guru, he is a busy physician and was packing for morning flight with his wife and my fabulous grand daughter Annabelle.  A public thank you and a big hug for JJ.