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January 26, 2007

More Sketchbook Practice: Figures and Hands

One of my Art Goals for 2007 is to become more comfortable sketching human figures - especially hands.  This week I pulled out some reference photos of ballet dancers and magazine advertisements showing hands and just played with them.  The hands on the first dancer are so bad that I resketched them at the bottom of the page,

I'm such a novice with watercolors, that I am simultaneously trying to work with skin tones and shading so these sketches in my large watercolor Moleskine serve two purposes.  My husband and I watch the Lehrer News Hour each night after I come home from work and that hour was a perfect time for one of these journal pages.  I could listen, but not really watch the speakers.  And then I had the rest of the evening to hand quilt a wedding quilt that is overdue (My oldest son was married in July 2004)!  Too many baby quilts for my grandchildren kept getting in the way and I still have a wedding quilt for my other son who married in Oct 2005 on my list to be quilted.

The background on the pages looks muddier than in real life.  I suspect that my scanner is picking up pencil that was used and poorly erased.  I am one of the EDM group that does a quick preliminary sketch in pencil.  Otherwise I don't think I would be able to make these learning experiences.

Dancer3.jpg

Dancer4B.size.jpg

Hands.size.jpg

Hands2.size.jpg

 

January 23, 2007

EDM Challenge #103: Staying Healthy

Health.size.jpg

I wonder if I will be the only EDM member without exercise equipment to sketch for this challenge?  When considering what I really do to stay healthy, I could only focus on really good weight control and daily walking.  Obesity is such a major problem in America.  When research data is displayed at national meetings that I attend, and the average weights of the study subjects are reported (regardless of the type of medical study), there is always a chuckle from the audience when comparing the numbers from the US in comparison to the study populations from other countries.  The only way that I have been able to maintain an ideal BMI as I age is to weigh myself every morning and rein in my food selections and portion sizes.  By walking, I really don't mean that I am Julie or Penny (or other EDM members) who walk a fixed distance every day.  By living in a city, however, I now walk almost everywhere that I want to go.  My car is parked 3 blocks from our apartment and when I get to work I park several blocks from my building.  All daily errands are done by walking in my neighborhood and carrying home the packages.  Our car remains in the garage, except for work days and we walk long distances in the city on weekends.  It is almost exactly one mile with stroller(s) between our apt and that of our grandchildren.  This is a huge difference from our previous life in Texas, where the culture is garage door openers and car trips even one block to the covenience store for a newspaper.  During those years I took 2 ballet classes each week in the evening after my husband came home from work and our children went to bed.  Although I do take occasional ballet classes here in Manhattan, I can't fit everything that I want to do into my usual work week.  I now buy walking shoes that move comfortably from work to play and wear out one pair of these shoes every several months.       

January 19, 2007

EDM Challenge #100 : Draw a Landscape

HydePark2.size.jpg

I sketched a photo of Sydney and Henry in Hyde Park - intending to do a "city park landscape" painting.  But I never got around to finishing it when we were in London, and today decided to add a watercolor wash to both of my grandchildren and then call it done.  I have a series of similar pictures of the two of them.  Sydney, who just turned 2, says to Henry "hand!" when we are walking with both of them and sweet boy that he is, he takes her hand and walks with her. 

January 17, 2007

EDM Challenge #102: Draw a Power Plug

power.plug.size.jpg

I feel as if we now live in a world of power strips and plugs that are huge and heavy to recharge our electronic devices.   And when we go to London we need equally large UK plug adaptors in which to plug these huge recharger plugs to allow us to recharge everything while we are visiting.  I too wish we lived in a simpler world - where all of our modern conveniences were interchangeable.  At my daughter's home in London there are separate DVD players for those DVDs bought in the UK and those from the US. 

January 15, 2007

Drawing People

holbein2.size.jpg

dancer2.size.jpg 

One of my goals for 2007 is to draw more human faces and figures.  I sketched the Holbein drawing of Anne Cressacre again and this time added a watercolor wash.  In addition, I started what I hope will be a series of dancers taken from photos in dance magazines and programs from our New York City dance companies.  I think it will be fun to struggle through these exercises - I certainly need many days just drawing hands!

 

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