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March 22, 2010

A Productive Day at the Museum of Natural History in NYC

The Meet-Up Central Park Drawing Group met at the Museum of Natural History yesterday.  During our regular sessions we meet at the entrance, draw in a general region for approximately 30 minutes and then return to a central location to share our sketchbooks.  We then move to a new location and repeat the process again and again for almost 3 hours.

Yesterday we began in the African Mammal exhibits - on the balcony - and I was capitvated by the ostrich and babies.  I also did a quick sketch of a baboon (paint added today).

                     Ostrich.jpg

           Baboon.jpg

We then moved to the North American birds section (I'm not a bird lover) and I sketched a golden eagle.

                  GoldenEagle.jpg

Around the corner was the primate section and the chimp had such a wonderful hand pose, I had to sketch him.

                  Chimp.jpg

 

Finally we went to the 4th floor to the dinosaur skeletons and I sketched the head of T.Rex.  The sketch was done in pencil and then I practiced using the dreaded Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and a watercolor pencil to finish the painting.

T.Rex.jpg

Patti Gregory (1960-2010

Yesterday morning I learned of the tragic death of Danny Gregory's wife Patti.  I only met Patti once 4 years ago, but was really impressed with her smile and energy.  Danny is the author of Everyday Matters, a book of sketches and writing from the time following Patti's subway accident which left her paraplegic.  I was just beginning this journey, which I call sketchbook art, and joined his Everyday Matters online art group in September 2005.  Over the last few years, by following Danny's blog, reading his subsequent books, The Creative License and An Illustrated Life, and taking a "visual journaling class" with him here in NYC, I learned more about them and their son Jack Tea.  My heart is breaking for Danny and Jack. 

 

 

March 20, 2010

More Bookbinding and Art

It is time for a little post about my obsession with bookbinding.  I started by recycling books as watercolor journals and then progressed to make 12 watercolor journals creating my own book covers and the book size of my choice.  While dye painting fabric for quilting, I wondered whether I could make my own book cloth from these fabrics and this week finished my 4th watercolor journal using my own dyed fabric as bookcloth.  For anyone reading this blog for the first time, the progression can be seen by clicking on the "Bookbinding" category on the right side of my blog page.

My 4th Dye Painted Watercolor Journal:

P1080744.size.jpg

 I used Canson Mi Teintes paper for my end papers.  It is available in many colors, is heavy enough so it doesn't stretch during the casing-in process, and is very inexpensive.  Here is the end paper for this book.

P1080747.size.jpg

Our Monthly Art Group learned how to make adhesive-backed "fun foam stamps" from Pat last month and at the end of the afternoon, we each used our stamps to make everyone a tag from our designs.  Pat does extraordinary work with her stamps and colored ink pads,  We will do this again and I explored making a "pocket artist's book" to keep all of the tags together.  The instructions came from Gwen Diehn's book Books For Kids to Make.

P1080740.size.jpg

P1080741.size.jpg

 

This month we are going to make very small "folded" artist's books (as seen in the link to Pat's blog above) and arrive prepared to "decorate each page."  Then we'll make a small envelope for the book.  Here is a website that demonstrates the folding process.  Our books will be made from a standard size sheet of paper (8.5 X 11"). 

http://myhandboundbooks.blogspot.com/2007/11/secret-fold-notebook.html

I decided to play with the techniques even before our meeting next week and created the following tiny book and envelope.  During the last two months I sketched a pregnant model at the Society of Illustrators figure drawing sessions and decided to feature her in my book.  I reduced the size of each image to fit the page and collaged the printed reduced drawings in place.  I made a fun foam stamp from one of the images and made the cover and the envelope.

Two Pages From the Book:

P1080739.size.jpg

The Front Cover - with Stamps:

                 P1080738.size.jpg

 

The Envelope for the Artist's Book:

                 P1080737.size.jpg

 

March 16, 2010

Demon from the Hours of Catherine of Cleves

I went to the Morgan Library and Museum last week to see the current exhibits - and sketched a demon from the illuminated manuscript called the Hours of Catherine of Cleves (15th C.).  It has a very interesting history and the borders on each page are amazing and never repeated.  I sketched one of the demons (which appeared on the corner of the border of page 94 and was enlarged in a photograph as part of the exhibit.)

                Demon.jpg

It is worth looking at the facsimiles on the webpage in my link to the exhibit just to see the quality of the painting and the brilliance of the colors. 

Donna posted drawings today that she did with her new Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.  I agree with everything she says about the pen and ...

I decided to upload this drawing today in order to demonstrate that on my Fabriano Artistico 140 lb soft press paper, the ink that comes in the cartridges with the Pental Pocket Brush Pen is watersoluble.  The gray color of my demon is just ink pulled into the drawing with plain water.  I allowed the ink to dry for 15-30 minutes before "painting it" with the water.  I know that others don't have this problem, so I assume it is paper-dependent, since we have compared pen product numbers, etc, etc.

 

March 12, 2010

Bronzino Drawings at the Met

I love the drawings of Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572) and today joined my friend Melly at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to draw some of them for the second time.  My first drawings were posted here.  The exhibit ends April 18th. so I will even have time to return for more.  All of the drawings were done with a Caran d'Ache aquarelle pencil (Mahogany).

 Study for his painting Jealousy - and for me More Hand Drawing Practice:

          Bronzino.jealousy.jpg

Head of a Young Woman - and for me the challenge was getting the correct angle for the head: 

Bronzino.young%20woman.jpg

Study of Crossed Legs - and for me lots of crosshatching for shading

Bronzino.crossed%20legd.jpg

March 8, 2010

Drawing Hands

 We took our 6 year old grandson Henry to the 3rd Young People's Concert in this year's series at the New York Philharmonic and a fabulous Spanish guitarist was the soloist with the orchestra.  We were sitting too far away for me to see his hands, so I sketched him from one of his website photos for my daily sketch.  His hands really were in that position, but it reminded me that I need lots more practice drawing hands.  I am slowly drawing each letter from photos on an American Sign Language website and I decided that it was time for J and K.  Pablo Saenz Villegas was drawn with my water-soluble Pilot Varsity pen and then brushed with water.

               villegas.jpg

 

 

American Sign Language letters - drawn with a watercolor pencil from photos on a website.

ASL.J.K.jpg

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