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:

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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. 

August 15, 2014

The Last Day of Sketchbook Skool

This is the final day of Sketchbook Skool Semester 2 - Seeing.  I think that I will continue to work on some of the exercises again, just to play a little more!  But I wanted to post some new sketchbook pages now.  Here is my Mug Collection on a double page spread - which I posted previously only as a work in progress.  I added more mugs - and still may add more.  But it also may be finished!

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One more Selfie for Koosje's class.  I decided that I would try to do an occasional one over the next few months, even though I did my homework exercise during her class and did 6.  I try to work on portraits in general and as Koosje says, "where else could you always find a willing model?"

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Last weekend I saw a Facebook entry for Drawing Club on how to paint water drops.  I couldn't resist trying, and listing the steps for when my memory fails me because I was unable to save a link.  Here are my 3 water drops! 

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August 12, 2014

Sketchbook Skool Week 6 - Liz Steel Homework

This was Liz Steel's week, and I've sketched with Liz in New York City during each of her visits, so it was a real treat to be in her class.   I don't have any tea cups in my apartment, so I chose the only decorated cup we have - an Antoni Gaudi espresso cup.  Here are my preliminary exploratory drawings, followed by my cup/saucer painting.

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I was at the Conservatory Water - Toy Boat Pond when I began Homework Assignment 2 - draw a building.   

Here are my preliminary thumbnail sketches of the Boat House, where they store remote-control boats for the weekly races and the rental remote-controlled boats.

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And this is the Kerb Boathouse, which is adjacent to the Patio Café. 

  

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I really enjoyed Semester 2 of Sketchbook Skool - and will go back and use many of the techniques used in homework assignments in the future.  It was possible to watch each teacher during their week, and to do homework assignments, but there is so much more to get from the videos/demonstrations.  I took notes and saved transcripts - and look forward to more sketchbook play using these exercises.

Semester 3 is being filmed - and I look forward to learning who the teachers will be! 

August 8, 2014

Sketchbook Skool Homework from Andrea Joseph

Andrea Joseph, whose blog I followed for years, was our week 5 teacher in Sketchbook Skool - Semester 2.  I have always been amazed at her ballpoint drawings and that was our first demo and homework assignment.  I used a Staples black ball point pen and my sandals for the exercise. 

 

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Equally mysterious, mainly because it was impossible to imagine someone taking the time to draw these, were her collections of buttons, keys, matches etc.  Over the years I tried to picture Andrea, this incredibly patient artist, and I was finally thrilled to meet her on multiple videos.  Drawing a collection was our second demo and homework assignment.  She doesn't use watercolor for hers, but I seem unable to leave out color.  So here is my mug collection done in my own way.  It is a work in progress - one mug per day.  The pencil outlines for my next two mugs can be seen on the 2 page spread.

 

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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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Shirley Parker Levine
New York City

August 2014

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