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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.

July 10, 2010

The Central Park Sketching and Art Meet up Group

Our group met at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Saturday, instead of in Central Park, because of the threat of inclement weather.  Our first drawing session was a major challenge - the Starn brothers bamboo structure on the Museum rooftop.  I decided to really limit my scope and to focus on the method that they used to connect the bamboo and creat a structure which supports many people on internal walkways. 


Our next drawing session was in the current exhibit called The American Woman - from the costume institute.  I already sketched some of the fashions in the exhibit on a previous visit and this time concentrated on the room called "The Heiress." 


Our 3rd and final sketch was in 19th C. European Paintings.  I am studying Cezanne's card players over a several year period and this time did a simple line drawing of one of the card players.  For more information about this project and my 2007, 2008, 2009 paintings, click here.



June 29, 2010

Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group

Our Central Park Meetup Group met at the Conservatory Garden again and it was beastly hot.  However, there were enough non-wilted flowers to paint.  They are not labelled and I have little practical knowledge of flowers - but I love drawing individual blooms.




There are two wonderful fountains in the Garden.  One of the fountain areas was the site for a lovely wedding.  The other fountain, the Three Dancing Maidens, was in bright sunlight.  But we discovered that we could dangle our feet into ice cold fountain water until the guards reprimanded us.  I drew this fountain twcie before (see here and here) and this time I decided to just draw one of the maidens.  I had just enough time before the guards came!



Following Meetup, I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a special afternoon program on Picasso to go along with their huge current exhibit.  Francois Gilot gave a long and excellent lecture on her encounter with Picasso, She lived with him for 10 years and had two children with him.  Professor Michael Fitggerald presented detailed information about the first private American collectors of Picasso's paintings and the history of the Met vs MoMA and their Picasso acquisitions.  Then there was a wonderful French film (The Mystery of Picasso - 1955) in which Picasso drew on one side of a support and we the audience just saw the lines forming and colored inks being added.  It was mesmerizing.