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April 23, 2015

Drawing with Dip Pen and Ink Washes

We are still drawing with dip pens, ink, brush, and ink washes in my drawing class.  I really like this technique, and love my Brause steno nib.  It is the first nib I bought, among many, that is not scratchy, holds a reasonable amount of ink, and is somewhat flexible.  I did two drawings this week, a still life to celebrate Spring, and a plaster bust.

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My Professor said that it is great experience to draw white plaster casts because all of the variation in values is due purely to light. I keep raiding the prop room to pull out what I want to draw, instead of the suggested models/still life.  Three more weeks of this class and the ink drawings are my favorite part of the experience so far.

April 21, 2015

Searching for Imagination

I didn't realize that my 100 day project, in which I would make one sketch from my imagination each day, would suddenly explode. Last Friday Sketchbook Skool Semester 4 began with Artist Illustrator Jonathan Twingley.  And his work, and his homework assignments, are all about challenging your imagination.  Assignment #1 is to make ink blots and use them as the basis of art.  My first ink blot was large and the only thing I saw in the shape was a bear head, hanging on a hunting lodge wall.

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Assignment #2 is to draw from your imagination every day for 6 days, and on day 7, to select some of the images and make a collage page.  I filled 11 pages in the first 4 days and was surprised at the sketches that came only from my imagination.  My only observation, is how dependent these sketches are on my decades of drawing my world from observation. 

This sketch started with a table and then I started to see it as a desk, and eventually a comfy library.  But suddenly I realized that I finally had a setting for a metadrawing, a homework assignment of Mattias Adolfsson's  in Sketchbook Skool Semester 3.  And I sketched a pig, lying comfortably on the floor, making a drawing.  I had to look up the concept of metadrawings, which are drawings about drawing.  Mattias also called this type of drawing "enhanced reality." 

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Another one of these pages captured a sailor, an artist, and a chef.  I have no idea where this character developed, but I hope to use him in other drawings. 

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I'm also still sketching from my imagination daily for 100 days as part of the 100Day Project and just completed 16 days.  Here are two of the more recent sketches.  

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I'm so interested to see where this "drawing from imagination" takes me.  I am still drawing from direct observation which I love, but I'm also having fun stretching my imagination with Sketchbook Skool Semester 4.   

April 17, 2015

Drawing From Imagination - Yikes!

As a child and younger adult, I could draw from 2D images and always told my husband I was just a good copier.  When preparing for my retirement from a 40 year career in medicine, I started drawing more and from 2005 (when I joined Everyday Matters), I started drawing from life - and slowly developed some skills with LOTS of practice. 

But I always knew that I could not draw completely from imagination, and the second homework assignment from Adolfsson and Defline in Sketchbook Skool Storytelling still aren't done!  So I decided to do my own "100 day project" to try to extend my doodling and develop some small ability to use my imagination. 

I dedicated a 100 page 4 X 6" book that I made with copy paper for daily sketches from my imagination.  And to avoid any excuses, I made a pen/pencil holder to wrap around the book so I can take it anywhere and always be ready. 

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I didn't intend to show any of my drawings, but Jonathan Twingley's Week on Sketchbook Skool - Stretching is all about imagination.  So I decided to post a few drawings since I started on April 6th, and to periodically add some observations about my own brain.   

An Early page - my barn:

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I finally read Perfume by Patrick Suskind and decided to draw perfume bottles:

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Working at my Sewing Machine in my Studio:

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Sailors from the Musical Revival of "On The Town":  I specifically looked at the costumes Wed. PM and drew these Thursday. 

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Thursday Urban Sketchers-NYC met at Lincoln Center and I drew and painted the Metropolitan Opera House for the first time: 

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This morning I decided to see whether I had stored this building in my brain, and now could recall it well enough to draw it in my imagination book.  This is my 5 minute drawing in pen.

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I definitely internalized the Opera House and can remember the structure I analyzed. 

I have over 100 sketchbooks since 2005, and all were drawings from direct observation.  How long will it take for me to be able to draw more from my imagination, and what are the exercises that will help me on this pathway?  I'll report back periodically.

 

 

April 13, 2015

Drawing Quick Portraits

My classmates in Drawing I at FIT:  I finally finished my composite drawing from my Drawing class.  Each week, when I finished the assigned drawings, I would add 1-3 classmates to this page.  The drawings were done very quickly with 4B graphite and then photographed because of the paper size.

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The Central Park Drawing and Art Meetup Group at a Portrait Party met at a rented studio here in Manhattan last weekend.  We had no rules, and some participants sat for portraits and alternated the person "in the chair," and others just sketched members as they were sketching.  We had approximately 45 minutes for each session, and then went out in the neighborhood for a final sketch.  I did these with my Sketch and Wash graphite pencils, but then decided not to add water. 

Meetup Portrait Party  First Session

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 Meetup Portrait Party Second Session

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My only goal when I do these composites is to not have everyone looking the same - meaning that I have observed and tried to individualize their features. 

 

April 11, 2015

Studying Under the Masters - Brett Whiteley

I am slowly completing Jeanne Oliver's Studying Under the Masters, Part 2.  In this online class, contemporary artists study under a Master by learning as much as possible about them, their work, and their lives.  They choose one artwork to copy and then try to incorporate some of the skills and techniques learned into one art work of their own.  Each apprentice shares all of their research on video and demonstrates, in detail, their painting process.  I took Part 1 (9 Master Artists) in the Winter of 2013. and already enrolled in the final Part 3 class which begins in May.  All of my paintings are done from oils done by the Master and converted by me to watercolor.  I have a blog category with my copy and original for each Master in Part 1 and Part 2.

http://www.paperandthreads.com/studying_under_the_masters/

British Artist Robin Fingher chose Australian Artist Brett Whitely as her Master and I chose one of his ink drawings to copy because we are just beginning to do ink drawings with ink washes in my FIT Drawing Class.  I used my new flexible nib by Brause and struggled with some beginner issues with blobs - one close to one eye!!

These are the Master Drawing on the left (called Vanessa) and my copy on the right.

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For my original drawing, inspired by Whiteley, I chose to recreate one of my figure drawings from the Toulouse-Lautrec sessions at MoMA. 

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It was great fun combining ink lines with ink washes (as opposed to cross-hatching) and I did two drawings using the same technique at my drawing class this week. 

This was a still life created by our professor with 3 mannequin arms, one foot.

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And this was one I put together for the second half of our class.

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