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May 29, 2015

Last Drawing Class at Fashion Institute of Technology

Last Class at FIT:  I continued to use a dip pen and ink through the remainder of my class and loved using various dilutions of the India ink as washes.  These are my last two still life drawings and several faces done only with ink from magazine illustrations as inspiration.

 

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Pencil Free Faces Inspired by Magazine Photos:  I almost always do a quick pencil sketch when drawing and use it as a guide for an ink drawing - making corrections as I go.  For these drawings, I ended my class time with very quick, ink only, sketches.

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May 25, 2015

Gouache Painting Inspired by Mary Blair

I am participating in Jeanne Oliver's second Studying Under the Masters online course.  Contemporary artists select a master artist and become their apprentice, researching their life, their art, their materials and methods.  They then copy one of their paintings to learn more about their style and use what they learn in a painting of their own.  Mary Blair (1911-1978) was an early 20th Century illustrator who worked for Disney and or was a freelance illustrator who was commissioned by Disney among others.  Parents the world over, will remember her Disneyland "Small World" exhibit.  

I copied one of her gouache paintings and posted it recently. 

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2015/04/_i_am_slowly_making.php

It took me awhile to finish Part 2 - my painting inspired by the work and style of Mary Blair.  My main goal was to again use gouache for the painting to get more experience with this medium, using bold colors, crisp edges and black outlines.  I chose to work from a photo that I took on New Year's Eve.

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May 22, 2015

Urban Sketchers and Figure Al Fresco This Week

An Urban Sketcher from Sydney Australia connected me with a Sydney watercolor artist who was coming to visit New York City and we spent two days together this week.  I'm constantly amazed at the international world of sketchbook art and the friends I meet through Everyday Matters, Urban Sketchers, and my blog.  On Monday Eunice and I met for coffee, and were in the café so long that we ordered and ate lunch!  This is a picture of us following lunch and before we went downtown to buy art supplies.  It was wonderful to meet her and I'm delighted that she will be visiting regularly.

 

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On Wednesday we met for a combined Weekday Urban Sketchers and Battery Park Conservancy Art Day.  Eunice and I sketched Pier A, at the tip of Manhattan overlooking New York Harbor, and while we sketched we watched Navy and Coast Guard vessels arrive for the annual Navy Fleet Week.  Notice the Statue of Liberty, which is on the other side of the harbor, right above the back of this destroyer.

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We were freezing while we sketched and had to go into Pier A for hot coffee.  Here is my "as yet" unpainted drawing over New York Harbor.   Pier A is on the left and way in the distance is Governor's Island and the Verrazano Bridge

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In the afternoon we moved to the Battery Park South Cove for Figure Al Fresco, the weekly figure drawing session sponsored by the Battery Park Conservancy.  The wind and cold made it unpleasant, so I did only the 1, 5, and 10 minutes sketches.   From left to right - 10 minute, and two five minute sketches done of our model who was sitting or standing on rocks in the South Cove. 

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Next Wednesday it is supposed to be in the 80s, so we will meet again under better weather conditions for outdoor sketching. 

May 20, 2015

Bookbinding - Making a Watercolor Sketchbook

I started to make my own watercolor sketchbooks by first learning how to repurpose $1-2 "soon to be discarded" books.  The original page block can be removed and a new watercolor page block inserted into books that are the size, and even perhaps a theme that you like. 

In 2008 I posted a tutorial of one of my first repurposed books.  In 2012 I posted a 4 part tutorial which is more detailed, and photographed each step as I repurposed a book called Italian Dreams for a 2012 vacation in Venice.  I recommend using the 2nd tutorial if you want to learn how to make these watercolor sketchbooks.

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

 

Each year I repurpose a themed book for our summer beach visits and for our vacation.  I found an 8 X 8" book for $2 on the carts outside The Strand bookstore in Manhattan.  It has a 1/2" spine and I can fit 3 signatures, each with two watercolor paper folios and one folio from the original book.  I can paint on both sides of each page, so I will have 24 watercolor pages to use and several text pages from the original folios to collage over. 

 

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I cut out the original page block  and carefully cut the binding threads so I could remove some of the original pages to use as endpapers and to mix with my 140 lb watercolor folios.   

These are the front and back endpapers, which hold the new watercolor page block in the cover. 

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This is an original folio that I nested inside one of the signatures. 

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I also found a similar size book called Spanish Paintings for $2, and will make it into watercolor sketchbook for a Fall vacation in Spain. 

Please leave a comment if you have any questions. 

 

May 18, 2015

Sketchbook Skool Homework for Fabio Consoli

Fabio Consoli, our 3rd teacher for Sketchbook Skool Semester 4, wanted us to enjoy "Child's Play" by sharing a page in our sketchbook with a child, allowing them to make a drawing which we would then use as inspiration to extend and complete the composition.  My 5 year old Grandson Zach did two drawings with markers in my sketchbook, but filled up the complete page, and I wasn't sure how I was going to extend the images and story.

The next day he only had time to do a pen drawing on an index card while we were at lunch, and I chose to use that image as a collage and to allow it to inspire my painting on a page in my sketchbook.  I'm currently trying to improve my drawings from my imagination, so this was a double challenge for me.  Zach's drawing is the blue man on the right. 

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I decided that I liked my drawing of the green man and wanted to introduce his girlfriend.  So I sketched them both in pen for my 100day Drawing From Imagination project. 

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Here are Zach's first two drawings - done with Tombow markers on a full sketchbook page - The Monster Man and Secret Grouch:

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