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August 5, 2014

Last Beach Week of the Summer

We were back at the beach for the last time this summer.  Three of our grandchildren just returned from sleep-away camp and we gathered to celebrate their return.  This bunny was sitting in the yard, eating in the grass, and I only had my camera in hand.  I took several photos without breathing or moving and did this sketchbook page.

 

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Dinner with our daughter, her husband, and their 3 children at LT Burger in Sag Harbor.  These gumball machines were hard to resist. 

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Our oldest grandchild, 11 year old Henry, went on our 2 mile early morning beach walk again this year.  He is delightful because he has a natural curiosity about everything we see.

 

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He loved watching the waves roll in and generate foam.

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And spent time with me examining and photographing a dead spider crab.  We saw the poor crab again today and it really did have 8 legs and two claws at one time. 

 

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A battered 4 leaf clover and one of the variant hydrangeas at our daughter's house.

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July 31, 2014

Sketchbook Skool Homework and Benedicte

Cathy (Kate) Johnson was the Skool teacher this week and our first homework assignment was to draw birds - or other shapes - from nature.  We see many birds in the Café in Central Park, but they move very rapidly, too rapidly to see their coloration.  The lady at the next table was feeding them breadcrumbs last weekend and I was able to take several photos and use them to both identify the birds and paint them.  Now I see and recognize house sparrows everywhere in the City.

 

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Our second homework assignment was to draw trees, creating depth in the field and varying our greens.  She has a wonderful YouTube video showing how she mixes greens.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRj2XHS4Olk

I haven't ever had green on my palette and always mix them.  But I still learned lots.  Landscapes are my least favorite subject to paint and I was glad that I had to do this one if I wanted to follow our Semester 2 class lessons!

 

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Last Friday I met my friends at Penn Station and took the train to Morristown where 4 of them had a major Art Quilt exhibit named Semper Tedium.  Mark Lipinski reviewed the exhibit and posted many photos on his blog - see this link  https://theslowstitchingmovement.wordpress.com/.  On the way home on the train I sketched Benedicte.

 

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July 29, 2014

Figure Al Fresca

New York's Battery Park Conservancy offers free figure drawing (clothed models) every Wednesday afternoon from May through October.  They supply the art supplies, so visitors walking through Battery Park are even invited to join in.

This was my first visit this year, and I was surprised by multiple 30 second sketches to warm up - a first for me.  This is one of mine, just to show my basic approach -  a gesture drawing, of the model, who held a big stick and had her hair in a top-bun to combat the heat.

 

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I sketched four 5 minute poses on an 11 X 15" piece of paper, using a General Sketch and Wash pencil (soluble graphite).  These big sheets were photographed, not scanned.

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These are two 10 minute poses and one 20 minute pose.  Because I had lots of time I tried to add a few facial features - MISTAKE- and then rubbed them out!

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July 25, 2014

Sketching with Urban Sketchers NYC

 

I spent one day this week sketching with the New York City Urban Sketchers Group.  All of our time was spent in the West Village and I used an accordion watercolor book that I made last year for my paintings. 

Here is the open book showing the portion of the paper that I covered. 

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The front and back were covered with paste paper that I made in a 2013 workshop at Center for Book Arts.

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Flowers, a bird feeder, and a house sparrow in a garden of a St. Luke's Episcopal Church on Hudson St. 

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A landmarked house in a beautiful area near the Cherry Lane Theater. 

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Table items at Pain Quotidien where 8 of us stopped for cold coffee and tea.

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This group was the new "weekday" portion of the NYC Urban Sketchers Group - and hopefully the group will be able to support both a Saturday and Weekday group to accommodate many different work schedules.  I will fill the rest of this accordion the next time I sketch with them.

 

July 22, 2014

Sketchbook Skool Homework Failure

This is week 3 of Sketchbook Skool.  I loved seeing Brenda Swenson's sketchbooks and looked forward to our homework - 3 drawings using Continuous Line Contours and then a contour drawing of 3 objects with a watersoluble pen followed by painting with watercolors.  I loved how her Tombow marker, in sepia, just dissolved into her painting.

We were supposed to draw one object, then two objects, and 3 objects.  I'm not very good at following directions, so I drew the first one with a regular pen and the last two with Tombow markers because I couldn't wait to try it. 

 

My assessment:  I can't really do continuous line contour drawings as well as I draw normally.  Figuring out how to maintain a continuous line was tedious - and in the second drawing you can see that I totally missed the real shape of the travel mug and did did a simple drawing in my usual style. 

 

One Object - Drawn with a Pigma Micron Pen

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Two Objects - drawn with a black Tombow marker:

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3 objects  - drawn with a Burnt Sienna Tombow marker and then painted:  This is the best of my continuous line drawings - and my double lines were washed away when I painted it.

 

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The next day I tried to do the homework again and you will quickly see that I draw more confidently and accurately in my usual style. The smaller painted drawings were done out of frustration with the continuous line contours.  I did a quick pencil sketch, added pen, and then painted it in the same amount of time that it took me to go slow and do the continuous line contour drawing.

 

 One Object - Warm Up

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Three Objects:

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I did my homework in the Conservatory Water Café in Central Park, sitting on the patio with my husband while he did the NY Times crossword puzzles.  After the above two pages, I returned to my usual drawing and painting method and sketched the "bar" area of the Café.  Who drinks beer and wine at 10AM??

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