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September 4, 2014

Making a Travel Sketchbook for Paris

I love to make special travel sketchbooks for our vacations, recycling old books about the location.  I found a $2.00 damaged book of Eugene Atget photographs at the Strand bookstore in New York City.  By carefully clipping the old binding threads, I was able to preserve some of the folios, using two of them for my end papers and inserting two others amidst the watercolor paper.

The book is 8 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches, a perfect size for my purse or backpack.  I filled it with Fabriano Artistica 140 lb soft press watercolor paper, with some irregularly-sized pages for fun.  

 

Front Cover:

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Front End Paper:

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Back End Paper: 

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I sketched an Eiffel Tower that I will place on the title page - and then make a grid for  a daily small image, a calendar for daily events, and a map showing the location of our rented apartment.

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Several years ago I posted a 3 part  tutorial for recycling an old or damaged book as a travel sketchbook.   The book was called Italian Dreams and I made it for a trip to Venice and can be seen here.

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

 

August 29, 2014

Battery Park City Figure Drawing August 20th

I love figure drawing.  And often practice drawing faces from photos that I collect.  This portrait is an exercise from an unknown source, but it allows me to try to work with the same facial proportions as the original photo.

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I also clip and copy hand photos from magazines in order to practice drawing hands.  Live model poses are too short to draw hands carefully, and slowly I am making progress.

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Battery Park City Figure Al Fresca uses clothed models and here are my first 4 one minute sketches and 3 ten minute drawings.  These are photos from 11 X 15" paper.

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August 26, 2014

Urban Sketchers - NYC Aug 14th

We went to Madison Square Park for my second day with the Urban Sketchers - NYC.  I took the accordion book that I used for my first day with them and completed the first side of the paper with this sketch of the Flatiron Building and my friend Benedicte sketching in front of me.  The accordion book is here:

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2014/07/_xxxxx.php 

This group meets weekly and I just created a new category for drawings done at these events.  My category list in way down under the monthly entries for my blog.

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I did a few preparatory sketches, based on Liz Steel's recent demo in Sketchbook School Semester 2 - and overcame my fear of failure sketching this iconic NYC landmark. 

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After lunch I searched for another building to draw around Madison Square Park and was drawn to this one because of the multiple rooftop water towers.  These sketches were done with a Tombow marker and then "painted" with clear water in a Niji waterbrush. 

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August 22, 2014

A Wonderful Day at MoMA

I had an amazing day at The Museum of Modern Art last Friday.  My art friends were busy, and I hadn't seen the Toulouse-Lautrec or Jasper Johns exhibits, so I packed a lunch and went at 9:30 when these exhibits opened for Members.  The Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit was posters, and many other forms of lithographs from the MoMA collection and I was mesmerized by the lines.  I carefully looked at, and photographed most pieces, and then drew one detail from an early poster because I loved it!  Here is my Englishman at the Moulin Rouge, 1892 - 3 years after the Moulin Rouge opened in Paris.  I sketched with graphite and decided to leave it that way.

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The Jasper Johns exhibit was a collection of drawings, prints, and oil paintings from the last 18 months.  Since we saw the exhibit of his work and learned about his printmaker John Lund, I can't get enough information about him.  I'm not someone who easily works in a series.  And he experiments and cuts printing plates, and reworks much of his art.   This series began with a tattered and paint spattered photo of Lucien Freud, sitting on a bed with his head in his hands.  Johns drew the images several times in different media,  manipulated the image by duplication, and then made two series of prints.  I thought the prints were too dark, but couldn't learn enough about his process.  

They also had one of his number series and I love the shape of his numbers, so I made a grid with 9 spaces and made quick sketches only to find I was one box short because I forgot about the zero.  So here is my sketchbook page - to remember the experiences in that gallery.  The nine is just a cut-out that overlays the page and can be lifted.

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By then it was lunchtime, so I took my lunch and bought coffee at the Sculpture Garden Café - and enjoyed the beautiful weather and amazing art.  We are going back to Paris for vacation in October and I couldn't resist painting this vintage sculpture from the Paris Metro. 

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On Saturday I worked on a challenge from my friend Teri while we were having coffee at our favorite café in Central Park.  Teri sent us digital images of small details from famous paintings - that she received from one of her art groups.  Pat and Benedicte did the first 1-2, but this was my first.  If you look closely you can see the original image that I printed out and collaged on the upper left.  And then I just played with ideas and completed the painting with my composition. 

My Art History consultant Bunny says that it was probably painted by a 19th C Orientalist, but I can't find it online.   So I must wait for Teri to return from a Dude ranch out west to learn her identity.  Any ideas?? 

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August 19, 2014

Figure Al Fresca at Battery Park - New York City

The Battery Park Conservancy has several free adult art programs from May through October, weather permitting.  I love to go to Figure al Fresca, the 2 hour figure drawing session using clothed models.  But between our beach travels and weather, this was only my second session for this year.

We started with 15 one minute poses - which I did on newsprint to loosen up.  These are the 4 five minute poses which were all done on a large sheet of watercolor paper with a General Sketch and Wash pencil so I could add water for shading.  The sheets were photographed because of size. 

 

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Here are two 10 minute poses, one 20 minute pose and one portrait done during the 20 minute pose because I had so much trouble sketching her head shape. 

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This program continues through October - in the South Cove area of Battery Park.  It is from 2:30-4:30 on Wednesdays and art supplies are provided for visitors.  So join us if you visit NYC. 

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