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October 4, 2018

My Traveling Companion For My Travel Sketchbooks

My companion for my London Sketchbook:  This is Mickey in his bread airplane, taken from Maurice Sendak's book In the Night kitchen.  I painted him on the first "notes page" in my travel sketchbook for my upcoming Fall trip to London.  This is one of my rituals for European travel.

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I loved reading this book to my children and grandchildren, and enjoyed Mickey flying in the bread airplane he shaped from a large lump of dough.

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I first painted him in the grid of small daily 2 X 2" paintings in my travel Sketchbook for Venice in 2012.

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Mickey also appears on a 2 X 2" grid page of my Paris travel sketchbook

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But he most often appears on the first page of my travel sketchbooks - on the top of the page with my contact information, in case I misplace my sketchbook on the trip.  Here he is from our vacation last year in Venice.

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October 2, 2018

Museum, Museum, and Gallery

Last week a very good friend from San Antonio came for her annual weeklong vacation with me, and as in the past we divided our time among the Garment District, Talas Bookingbinding in Brooklyn, Museum and Gallery exhibits, and making things.  The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in Manhattan has an exhibit about color - various historical methods of classifying color and some wonderful examples of the use of color in the world around us. 

Some objects I liked from the Cooper Hewitt exhibit SATURATED, and a link to the website.  The visit is worth it just to see the Carnegie Mansion on 5th Avenue, home to the Cooper Hewitt.

https://www.cooperhewitt.org/channel/saturated/ 

 

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Delacroix at the Met:  There are two big Delacroix exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  One contains a large number of his paintings, with a few drawings.  The other is a 3 gallery exhibit of his drawings, some with watercolor.  Both are really worth seeing - the painting exhibit is here from the Louvre in Paris.

https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2018/delacroix 

https://metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2018/devotion-to-drawing-eugene-delacroix 

 

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Will Barnet Exhibit Love Letters at the Alexandre Gallery:  I fell in love with Will Barnet's paintings when the National Academy of Art had a big Barnet exhibit on his 100th birthday.  His lines and his forms are so clean, and in the earlier exhibit it said that he traced his images and simplified them in several steps.  The current Gallery exhibit is small, but lovely.  The drawings and paintings are all "love letters" to his second wife. 

http://www.alexandregallery.com/current-exhibition-/ 

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September 28, 2018

My Series of "After Breakfast" Figure Drawing Continues

I DEDICATE THESE DRAWINGS TO THE STRONG WOMEN WHO STEPPED FORWARD TO TRY TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD FOR ALL OF US.  I'M OUTRAGED AT THE REPUBLICAN REFUSAL TO HAVE THE WHITE HOUSE REOPEN THE FBI BACKGROUND CHECK!  WE NEED TO VOTE ALL OF THEM OUT IN NOVEMBER.

I'm still enjoying drawing active figures after breakfast - a commitment to fast drawings as many days as possible (<15 minutes to draw and paint).  I love life drawing and adore dancers and ballet.  This project allows me to continue my sketchbook drawing habit on days when I have nothing else planned.  It helps that I have paper, pencil, pen, sharp scissors, and my reference book waiting for me and ready to go.    

Collaged Line of Action Figures 1

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Collaged Line of Action Drawings 2

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September 24, 2018

Watercolor Rules: Week 1 Ian Sidaway

I am taking the new Sketchbook Skool class called Watercolor Rules.  Ian Sidaway, an amazing watercolor artist from England, was the teacher for the first week, and he was brilliant as he presented everything you always wanted to know about watercolor paints, palettes, brushes, and paper. 

I started this journey with artist grade watercolors in 2005.  I used a list of two recommended triads of primary colors from a book by Anne Elsworth, and just started playing with them. It was years before I actually took a class in watercolor painting and that fits with my personality.  Below is the very first page I did, testing my 6 new small tubes of Winsor Newton paint.  Three were listed as cool and three warm. 

First Winsor Newton Artist Quality Watercolor Paints

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Three years and many sketchbook paintings later, I decided to replace the opaque cadmium paints with almost transparent ones - Scarlet Lake for Cadmium Red and New Gamboge for Cadmium Yellow. 

Although you can make grays and browns with the above 6 primary paints, Cathy Johnson, another wonderful watercolor artist, says that she keeps "convenience colors" on her palette, so she doesn't always have to mix them.

I also read about a different triad of primary colors on Danny Gregory's Everyday Matters Yahoo Group many years ago : the Velasquez triad (also called the "dead triad").  It consists of burnt sienna, yellow ochre, and ultramarine blue.  Since I already used ultramarine blue, I replaced it in this triad with Payne's gray which is a beautiful dark blue.  Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue also make many different, beautiful grays. 

This is my 12 color palette that I've used since early 2008 - 3 primary color triads and 3 convenience colors.

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Ultramarine Blue is considered a warm color and Winsor Blue a cool color, and although I know this intellectually, my eyes never agreed.  In answer to a question from our class, Ian Sidaway said to figure it out yourself for your own paints.  When you mix all cool colors, or all warm colors, the colors are brighter.   Just mix secondary colors - orange, green, and purple - to see if you are mixing two pigments of the same type or mixing a cool with a warm. 

Since I made many color wheels over the years, tested both the opacity/transparency, and lifting qualities of my paints, I decided to explore Ian's suggestion re: warm-warm, warm-cool, and cool-cool mixtures. 

Here are my 4 test strips, all done on strips of Fabriano Artistico 140 lb Soft Press, the watercolor paper I bind in my books.  One of my yellows, or one of my reds, was painted in the center.  I then gradually added my two blues, with Ultramarine Blue to the left and Winsor Blue to the right. I like mixing colors, and always just mix them on my palette to get the colors I want for a painting.  This won't change my methods, but it is fun to see the many colors I can make. 

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In August, an acquaintance of mine, watercolor artist Marilyn Rose, taught a free 2 hour watercolor class at Bryant Park in NYC.  I used my own 12 paint palette to create the end of class painting we did to practice color mixing.

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Mixing watercolor paints is addictive.  After doing the strips in the image above, I decided to add my 3rd triad (Yellow Ochre Pale, Burnet Sienna, and Payne's Gray).  Then I had one more strip left and mixed my original yellows and reds with Paynes Gray.  When I saw the 6 strips together I couldn't resist one photo showing all of the colors I can make with 3 triads of primary colors.

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I was thrilled to just see that the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum has a new exhibit on COLOR through  mid-January for anyone who lives in, or near NYC - or will be visiting during the holidays.  See Link below.

https://www.cooperhewitt.org/channel/saturated/ 

Note: Two of the older images already appeared in a blog post in August 2018, reviewing the class with Marilyn Rose. 

 

September 21, 2018

Life Drawing: Fall Semester at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)

I am taking a Life Drawing class at Fashion Institute of Technology this semester and these are the drawings from my first class.  For several weeks we are drawing outlines, and won't begin shading for another 2 weeks.  Our professor began with a 20 minute pose, then two 10 minute poses.  The length of the poses then decreased throughout the class, ending with ten 2 minute and twenty 1 minute sketches. 

We were encouraged to draw several figures on the same page throughout the class.  

These are (from L to R) 10, 10, and 20 minute drawings with charcoal.

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We switched to graphite for the quick poses, and these are two minute drawings completed on the same page. 

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And 1 Min poses superimposed very rapidly on one sheet until I ran out of room.

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I've never drawn figures with decreasing times for the poses, and actually enjoyed it.  By the end I felt as if I was just "winging it" and was very loose.   An added benefit was that the model was able to hold very difficult poses for the 1 and 2 minute poses, when we were very warmed up and "seeing" better.

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