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November 15, 2010

100 Faces - A Sonheim Drawing Lab

I still draw faces when I'm out around NYC - as part of Carla Sonheim's Drawing Lab book.  This is a long term project for me, and I probably will still be working on my 100 Faces months from now. 

These are 6 of the recent faces that I drew from life - a security guard at the Social Security Office, a girl on the crosstown bus, audience members at the theatre and at a Textile Study Group lecture,  a page at WABC-TV, and an usher from the NY Philharmonic open rehearsal,

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I got bogged down at Lab 36 of the Drawing Lab book and finally skipped it and moved onto 37.  My goal is to continue working through the exercises sequentially now to the end of the year.  And I'm simultaneously reflecting on any progress in 2010 and making some personal art goals for 2011.

 

November 11, 2010

Figure Drawing and Illustrators Week in New York City

I discovered that they were having a special evening at the Society of illustrators this week after I arrived.  There was a brief announcement the week before that I didn't hear and a listing in the program for Illustrators Week.  There were 4 musicians (instead of the usual two), at least twice as many artists sketching, and an audience full of well-known illustrators (but certainly not to me).  The energy in the room was amazing and the drawings that I could see from my seat were incredible. 

There were two models, as usual, and an illustrator - in street clothes with an added mask, or hat - posing with them for 10 minute poses.  It was difficult for me to draw 3 models in 10 minutes, so I focused on what I could do and just enjoyed the experience.  Here are sketches with two illustrators who were sitting near me - both are fashion illustrators

This was one of the models with Bil Donovan - a very friendly and amusing man.  I sketched in 9B graphite and had trouble increasing the contrast without also increasing the smudges!

 

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The final illustrator modeling (out of approx 10) was Robert Richards.  He sat behind me throughout the evening and almost every other illustrator took the time to come greet and speak to him.  When I looked him up, I learned:  "The New Yorker multi-talent Robert W. Richards started his career as an illustrator for the fashion world; his striking talents delighted the fashion tsars in Paris and Rome. His clients included Yves St. Laurent, Valentino and Gaultier, among others. He drew portraits of Hollywood stars like Cher and Tony Curtis, and worked for years with gay publications like The Advocate and Mandate."

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It was a memorable evening - and I will certainly attend if they celebrate Illustrators Week the same way again next year. 

November 8, 2010

Sketching With Raena in Houston

While I was at the Houston Quilt Festival, I spent a wonderful afternoon with Raena, one of the EDM members who lives in Houston.   We've exchanged comments on our blog entries, but never met in person, so this was a great place to sketch together.  We each selected one of the dolls from the exhibit to sketch and then sat and talked and painted for the remaining time before she had to leave.  Here is my doll sketch.

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And here are Raena and I - photographed by an anonymous Quilt Festival attendee who surprised us by actually having read Danny Gregory's book Everyday Matters.

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November 5, 2010

Strathmore Visual Journals and a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

Four really scarey-looking "almost one continuous line" drawings of a face.  In spite of watching Picasso do this on a brilliant DVD, I have trouble figuring out how to draw all parts of a face without lifting my pen. 

Many of my artist friends love drawing with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.  I have trouble controlling it, but in addition, it is not water-resistant on the Fabriano Artistico 140 lb soft press paper that I bind in my watercolor journals. 

So today I decided to test it in the Strathmore Visual Journals.  You can see all of the other tests I've done in these journals by clicking on the Strathmore category on the right sidebar.  The paper used on the bottom right was watercolor 90lb, but I lost the label while cropping.

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I quickly sketched each face, waited no more than 10 minutes, and then added the watercolor wash.  The ink did not leak through any of the pages, and it was water-resistant on all of them.

These papers feel different to the touch, but I can't really tell any difference in how they handle the ink or the paint.

October 30, 2010

Inspiration from the Recent Picasso Exhibit

Our Journal Study Group went together to see the recent Picasso exhibit at the Met.  Picasso's linocut reinterpretation of a Lucas Cranach II painting made us wonder whether could reinterpret a master painting and make a print using fun foam stamps. 

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              Lucas Cranach II, Portrait of a Woman, 1564

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   Pablo Picasso, Portrait of a Woman after Lucas Cranach II, 1564

Pat developed a method for this challenge and published a recent article about it (faux silk screen printing) in the September/October issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors. 

As we exited the Picasso exhibit, Melanie and I saw Cranach The Elder's painting of Judith with the Head of Holofernes and we immediately selected it for our challenge.  Pat selected a painting of St. Jerome by El Greco.  Today we gathered around my dining room table and made our prints.

I took a photo of the painting in the Met and made a painting in my sketchbook in preparation.  Today I traced it, transferred the image to adhesive backed fun foam, and made multiple stamps (at least 12!).  Here are the 3 images. 

Cranach Painting

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   Lucas Cranach the Elder, Judith With the Head of Holofernes, 1530

My Sketchbook Page

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My Stamped Image:  approximately 6 X 9"

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I ran out of room on my sketchbook page and didn't draw Holofernes' head.  I'll need to do it separately, make stamps, and add it to my next print. 

Go here to see Melanie Testa's print ( she has his head!) and here to see Pat Gaignat's print.  We agreed to each upload our prints this morning.  I thought for sure that Pat was going to describe me carving stamps with a box cutter or upload a photo of the mess I created, but she didn't.  She did however, talk about the men outside my window.  Our apartment building is in the final phase of facade repair, and since we live on the second floor, the scaffolds are right outside our windows.  Over the last year Pat has taken many photos of "the men."

We had lots of fun while working on our project, learning and experimenting as we went.  My drawing was biggest and I failed to simplify enough, so they were pushing me along. They wanted me to get done so I could make a tag for each of them before they left!  See the tags on Pat's blog post this morning.

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