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September 14, 2018

Flowers and Figures August 29, 2018

Our Wednesday weather was unpredictable this month, and I'm now in a Life Drawing Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Fall semester class.  Therefore my last "Flowers and Figures" pages from Wagner Park and South Cove in Battery Park City were in August. 

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Figure Al Fresco - Brianna was a fantastic model - beautiful and imaginative.  These are my 5 and 10 minute poses.  Next I'll be drawing and posting drawings of nude models again.  It is months since I sketched nudes - and then I did it with my right hand holding ice on my left wrist which was drawing the model - all before I learned my dominant hand wrist was fractured!

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The sketches  were done with a soluble graphite pencil (General's Sketch and Wash) and the gray tones obtained by brushing water over the figures with a "waterbrush" and clear water. 

September 11, 2018

Grandchildren Mail Art on Camp Letters - 2018

My NYC Grandchildren go to summer camp each summer, and I try to write them one letter each week.  For the last few years I sketched my imaginary character Axel on the envelopes.  These are drawings that I did this year.  

We see several hundred camp photos each day on the camp website, and I draw Axel participating in the same activities as our grandchildren.

July 2.

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July 6

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July14

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A postcard for each of them as they were preparing for "color war." 

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Final Letters:  Axel is just waiting for them to come home.

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September 7, 2018

Recycling a Used Book as a London Watercolor Sketchbook

We are going to London this Fall and I just recycled a London 1960s Photography book to use as my watercolor travel sketchbook.  My daughter and her family lived there for 14 months a decade ago, and I'm finally ready to go back.  But we will miss living in their house with our very young grandchildren on multiple visits. 

I bought a half-price photography book at the Strand Book Store in NYC, removed the original page block, and made a new page block with 140 lb Fabriano Artistico Soft Press paper.  Interspersed with watercolor pages, are photo folios from the original book.  

Front Cover

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I posted a 4 part Tutorial about recycling a book to use as a watercolor travel sketchbook in 2012.  This is the link to the process and the book I recycled for a 2012 Venice vacation. 

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/02/watercolor_sketchbook_tutorial.php 

 

Front End Paper: I was able to use two of the original folios as end papers, and just glued a decorative strip over the original fold to strength it.

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Title Page:  This will be my title page, with a Big Ben collage I made previously using a photo of Henry the VIII.  I will add a title for the sketchbook and my contact information.  I once received a phone call from a museum hours after I left my sketchbook by mistake.

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There are 4 signatures each with two folios of watercolor paper and one folio of the original photographs.  Two of the signatures had one folio that is narrower than full size and I will use these for 2X2 square daily drawings, and grid of my daily notes.  

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This is the example of the short sheets, I didn't want to use only a portion of another full sheet of watercolor paper and actually like having these random narrower pages.   You are seeing the narrower page on the right with part of a London bus photo behind it.

There are 24 full pages and 8 narrower ones for a 10 day vacation. 

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I made similar books for trips to Paris, Berlin/Prague/Budapest, Madrid/Seville/Barcelona, Barcelona, and a second one for Venice 2017.   

September 4, 2018

Sketchbook Skool WHIMSICAL Weeks 4 and 5

Miriam Bos is an illustrator and her paintings are used for books, magazines, fabric, ceramics, and greeting cards, etc.  It was fun learning about her creative process, and for our homework we were asked to create a book character and draw at least 3 emotions. 

I have fun watching squirrels trying to sneak the seeds from the bird feeders at our friends' home in Martha's Vineyard.  There were two who climbed the nearby tree, took flying leaps to the conical top of the iron pole holding multiple bird feeders, and almost never were successful.  I called a squirrel with an orange tail "Spas" because he would try to climb down the pole, lose his footing, scramble trying to hold on, and then fall to the ground. 

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What I Learned About Character Development in WHIMSICAL:  In Miriam's demo video she showed us her method for creating characters.  She obtains photo images of real animals from the internet, and then traces them to start the process.  After she learns about their structure and characteristics from tracing, she sets them aside and begins to draw many versions of the animals in different poses, and with different emotions.  She, like several of the other illustrators, said that they draw many before they find the character they like.  Mike Lowery said he drew almost a hundred before he found the "Carl the Duck" character he wanted. 

I started with tracings, and then drew at least 20 before I found these characters.  I had to paint one with an orange tail to remind me of the spastic squirrel I loved at the bird feeder. 

Vanessa Brantley-Newton is an illustrator of Children's Books, and her homework for us was to create a collage inspired by one of 3 words: Joyous, Dangerous, and Ridiculous. 

For my collage I decided to go back to the first moment that my characters Axel and Alice saw the characters in the hooded long coat.   The title of this collage is DANGEROUS?

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Axel was created during a Sketchbook Skool homework assignment by Fabio Consoli.  We had to intereract and draw with a child, and I created Axel, and then later Alice.  The top painting is the original homework painting. The character on the right was created by my Grandson Zach, and then I reacted to the robot creating the rest of the painting.  The bottom watercolor was done as a final project for a watercolor illustration class at FIT. 

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If I hadn't fractured my wrist on my dominant hand in March, I would have finished the comic book project about Axel and Alice for my FIT Spring semester class on Comic Book Illustration.  Someday....

 

 

August 31, 2018

Visit to the Jewish Museum

There is a Chaim Soutine exhibit at the Jewish Museum until September 16th.  My husband and I really like him and look forward to seeing his paintings in museums and auctions.  But this exhibit, entitled Flesh, is of his paintings of dead animals.  These are my least favorite paintings, with animals usually hanging in his studio, during the painting. 

My first painting of the Museum in years:

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Here is a photo of Soutine from the exhibit. 

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And here are 3 paintings that I sort of liked, but not well enough to draw/paint them as I frequently do at local exhibits.

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