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April 15, 2014

Simple Pencil Portraits

We spent last weekend celebrating the Bar Mitzvah of Daniel who is one of our closest friends' grandson.  We met his grandparents in 1969, even before Daniel's father Ben was born.  His birth may be one of the factors which made us more ready to start our own family.

I did these 2 portraits on blank 3 X 5" cards with a disposable mechanical pencil that was in my purse - while listening and watching the service.  They are now collaged on a page in my sketchbook to highlight the lovely event.

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April 11, 2014

Recent Sketchbook Pages

My oldest grandson was singing in the Middleschool Choral Festival on Wednesday.  I arrived early and listened to each individual school practice and sketched the center altar in the church they were using for the concert.  I sketched in pencil, then Tombow black marker, and then added water with my waterbrush.

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Yesterday I went to see two exhibits with my friends Bendicte and Pat.  There is an amazing exhibit at Neue Galerie on Degenerate Art as designated by the Nazis and featured in Munich in an exhibit of the same name right before WWII. 

http://www.neuegalerie.org/content/degenerate-art-attack-modern-art-nazi-germany-1937 

Many of the works shown at Neue are done by my favorite German artists.  I sketched a sculpture by Ernst Barlach called  "The Reader."  It was considered "degenerate" because of the book which they considered the sign of an intellectual!

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On our walk up Madison Ave to lunch I found this beautiful bloom at the top of a trash can and took it to paint during while we ate.

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We spent the afternoon at the National Academy Museum seeing an exhibit by the famous Swedish Artist Anders Zorn.  His etchings and watercolors were brilliant and I'm posting photos, not sketches - which would have been impossible. 

http://www.nationalacademy.org/anders-zorn-swedens-master-painter/ 

A Zorn Watercolor (from my photo):  This also appears in the link I included.

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A Zorn Etching:

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April 7, 2014

Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group

Yesterday we had a gorgeous day for outdoor sketching and our group met at Belvedere Castle in Central Park.  We had approximately 45 minutes to move to location, sketch, paint, and then gather to show our sketches.  Over 3 hours we shifted position 3 times and here are my 3 sketchbook pages.

Belvedere Castle - from the rocks overlooking Turtle Pond.  I sat in bright sunlight and listened to tourists search for the turtles - both swimming and sunning themselves below us.

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Instead of working more on my castle drawing, I sketched and painted another member of our group during the 2nd session.  She had beautiful hair which fell naturally, covering her face while she was drawing.  But I could always see the frame of her red glasses.

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We moved to The Shakespeare Garden for our 3rd session and I fought with a painting of a very small purple flower - one of the few that were blooming.   I couldn't capture the exact purple color or show the variation from intense color at the ends of each petal to white in the center.  I tortured these 2 small blooms - and finally said - "I did my best and have lots more to learn."

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April 4, 2014

New Projects

Before I decided to enroll in the "Studying Under the Masters" Online class this winter, I bought Veronica Lawlor's book One Watercolor a Day so I could play with loose watercolor exercises during the dark winter days.  It is designed for 42 days (6 weeks) and this week I started the book and did 4 exercises in my 9 X 12" 140 lb Watercolor Strathmore Visual Journal.  Here are exercises from 2 days.

Day 3:  Red Monochromatic Painting of a Dreamscape

I was inspired by a mosaic in the Lincoln Center Subway stop and used scarlet red, permanent alizarin crimson, and these mixed with gold gouache and Payne's gray. 

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Day 4:  Color Studies

In this exercise I needed to paint the same still-life using 3 different color combinations.  I used Van Dyke Brown for the Monochromatic painting, Yellow, yellow orange, and yellow green for the Analogous painting, and blue, yellow-orange and a 3rd color which was supposed to be red-orange.  My other mannequin models are a pencil drawing and a vellum paper drawing in analogous colors - just to continue to play....

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The rest of the days I painted tulips twice - trying to paint the petals wet-on-wet - and one brushes/paint still life.  We are so ready for Spring in New York City - and yesterday the tulip plants in front of my apartment were 3-4 inches high.  I painted this week from tulip photos that I took last year.

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March 24, 2014

Figure Drawing at The New School - Parsons

I haven't gone to a Figure Drawing Session since my FIT Course ended last semester.  The Holidays were busy and then I started my Silk Dye Painting Class on the night I always went to the Society of Illustrators.  So I was a little apprehensive about attending a new drop-in location on Friday afternoon, but my friend Judy paved the way. 

They have 3 models who rotate the different sets of poses.  The first model did 20 one-minute poses.  YIKES!  These have never been fun for me - and she struck such bizarre poses that in the middle I just drew her head.  If you look at the right of these heads you can see that she literally threw herself on the floor and lifted up onto her shoulders with her feet in the air!

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I already sketched the 2nd model 3 previous times - two at the Society of Illustrators and once in my FIT class.  Familiarity, however doesn't necessarily make it easier. 

Here are 3 five minute poses of Blaine - and one 20 minute long pose.

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The 3rd model did some of the longer poses.  Here are 2 ten minute poses - and then one of approximately 15 minutes at the end of the session.

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All drawings were done with a Derwent Sketch and Wash pencil - so I could add water if I wanted to after the session.  There are on large paper and were photographed, not scanned.