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September 26, 2015

Figure Al Fresco - Two Wednesdays in September

 September 16th, we had a model with the largest head of curly gray hair, and I've enjoyed drawing her at various figure drawing venues previously.  This time she used a big pink ball in some of her poses. 

These are 3 of the 10 one minute poses that were fun.

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I put all of her 5 minute poses on one sheet of watercolor paper and used a Sketch and Wash pencil and my water brush to add gray tones.

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I only had time for one 10 minute pose before I needed to leave. 

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On September 23rd, I sketched the model on the right, middle, and left - and then squeezed in two more 10 minute sketches among the first 3.  The drawings were again done with a soluble graphite pencil and then shaded with a waterbrush.  Working out this composition was fun! 

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September 18, 2015

FIT Fall Semester Watercolor Class

In 2003 I began to think about retirement activities and bought a student grade set of watercolors, and then played with paints, brushes, and paper over the next 2 years.  I read several watercolor books including Cathy (Kate) Johnson's beginning watercolor painting book.  It was great fun learning on my own and when I partially retired in 2005 I started to draw and paint in a sketchbook almost daily, graduating to Winsor-Newton artist grade tube watercolor paints and better paper.  I've now been retired 6 years and still play with watercolors trying to learn as much as I can by "doing." 

This semester there were still openings for Seniors in the one watercolor section that exists each semester at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and I just completed my second class ever.  We are using Strathmore 400 series 140 lb watercolor paper (18 X 24") and I'm still using my Winsor-Newton paints. 

In the first class, we painted a still life with mixtures of only 2 paints: burnt sienna and ultramarine blue, using quarter sheets and a 3/4" wide flat brush.   

Class 1 

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For homework we set up our own still life and did two 11 X 14" paintings, still using the same paper, brush, and colors. 

Homework 1

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Homework 2 

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Last night was class 2 and we worked on 1/2 sheets using the 3/4" flat brush and a triad of colors, to explore the virtues of Payne's Gray.  We could choose our own yellow and red, and I chose New Gamboge and Scarlet Lake as my other two colors.   

Class 2

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This is a very well structured class, and our exercises are designed to have us paint very loosely.   It is great fun!  I also like working with some restriction on color, even though I always use a very limited palette of primary colors - because I love mixing colors! 

September 13, 2015

"Picasso Sculpture" Exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art

Picasso Sculpture, the new HUGE exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, opened to the public yesterday.   I went to a member preview on Friday and was amazed at the crowds at 9:30 in the morning.  I hadn't read anything about the exhibit, and was totally surprised that the entire 4th Floor Permanent Exhibit space was cleared and then 11 galleries - 140-150 sculptures by Picasso -  were installed. 

We learn that Picasso was never trained in sculpture, but he tried every form, and the galleries are individually devoted to one form or another.   I almost couldn't leave the opening gallery in which he worked in sheet metal.  By the end of the exhibit I knew I had to go back there for one drawing - Head of a Woman. 

This is the Museum link to the exhibit:

http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1559 

And this is the NY Times "over the top" review - with many photos:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/11/arts/design/review-picasso-sculpture-moma-museum-of-modern-art.html?_r=0 

 

This is the first sculpture I just had to draw - The Crane.  The head is a spigot, the neck and tail appear to be a shovel - and all of it is painted black with white accents.  When I draw a piece of art, I feel it seeping into my brain and body - and never forget the joy I experienced when I first saw it.  Both drawings were done in front of the sculpture, then painted at home from my photos.

 

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After drawing the Crane, I had to return to Gallery 1 to draw the sheet metal sculpture of a Woman - that I loved from minute one of my visit.  This is a single piece of metal that is cut, bent back on itself, and then painted.

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This is an exhibit that I will return to again, maybe many times before it closes in February.  There were pieces in each gallery that I wanted to draw, and probably will.  If you are in New York City this Fall, it is a once in a lifetime collection of work by Picasso. 

 

 

September 11, 2015

Wednesday Carousel and Art Day in Battery Park 9/9

Wednesday Art Day began at the Seaglass Carousel - our first ride on this beautiful piece of art.  The exterior was designed to look like a nautilus and this is a photo from a different angle than I posted before, followed by pictures of Benedicte and I enjoying the ride.

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Benedicte

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We loved every minute of it - seeing each other only intermittently as our fish rotated.  We walked down through Battery Park to Wagner Park with huge smiles.

I just started drawing when I started to receive emails from friends asking if my email was hacked.  So my drawing time was unfocused at best.  I did one drawing of the building in which Gigino's Restaurant is located, then another very simplified drawing using some of Marc Taro Holmes techniques from Lesson 2. 

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After lunch we went to Figure Al Fresco and Steve was our model for the afternoon.  He is the weight lifter/runner and each time he models he gets better.  He thoroughly enjoys it, and I wanted to just post a few of his very unusual poses.  The amazing thing is that he can hold them for the specified time. 

Two out of ten 1 minute drawings on newsprint:

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Two minute pose on newsprint:

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One of 4 five minute poses - his position was so unexpected he made all of us laugh.  My first 10 minute sketch was rained on, ending the afternoon prematurely as the soluble graphite started to run!

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We ran to a coffee shop to sit out the rainstorm and then walked to the subway in the sunshine. 

 

September 8, 2015

Fast Pen and Ink Drawing Practice

I am still doing homework and practicing skills from Marc Taro Holmes' Craftsy class (Lessons 1 and 2).  My two drawings of Pier A, in Battery Park City were drawn with a Pilot Metropolitan  fountain pen, then darkened with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, and then touched with a waterbrush to pull out some more color.  The Nakima black ink pulls out as blue.

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I've watched Lesson 2 twice, because I am incapable of seeing how to draw an image just by drawing the shadows.  This is from a photo of the Statue of Liberty, and she was created completely with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. 

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And this is my second attempt at drawing just the shadows and then using a fountain pen to add some marks and some tones.  I took this photo of rooftops from an apartment window in Montmartre, Paris. 

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Practice of these techniques are to be continued, and hopefully used on our Fall trip to Spain. 

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