June 23, 2016

Recent Figure Drawings

I love figure drawing, and always hope that regular practice is making my drawings better.  From May through October I go to Battery Park City weekly for Figure Al Fresco, which is held outdoors and the models clothed.  Several weeks ago we began our session with 10 one minute poses, and here my first four.  Although it is always hard for me to be certain, I really think that I'm getting better at catching these poses in a very short period of time.  This and the next drawing were photographed instead of scanned.

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I went to the Society of Illustrators last week with one of my out-of-town guests, and was very happy to be back.  These are some of my 5 minute, 10 minute, and 20 minute poses.

Five Minute Poses:

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Ten Minute Poses:

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Two Twenty Minute Poses:

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When I'm back at the Society of Illustrators I remember how much I enjoy this venue and two nude models posing simultaneously.  This time I sketched one of the models most of the time - because I liked her poses, and because of where I was sitting.  The SOI sketched were done with soluble graphite pencils.

 

June 20, 2016

My Sea Shell Obsession

We were back at the beach with our family this weekend, and on my early AM walk with my husband I found an Atlantic Deep Sea Scallop Shell, my 4th in 9 years!  And my husband almost stepped on it as we walked.  They are large and beautiful, deep orange red in color and very flat.  This is a happy me!

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I collect shells as we take our 2 mile morning walks - and most are the common midatlantic shell varieties.  My grandchildren  all learned how to identify them, and I stash the really good ones on a shelf in my daughter's garage.  On Friday my grand daughter Sydney and I bought a large jar to save some of these shells and she placed each of them perfectly.

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My newly found scallop shell went on the very top less than 24 hours later!!.  These are my two sketchbook pages for the weekend - the scallop shell and one of the planters around the pool. 

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June 16, 2016

Final Monotype Workshop at MoMA NYC

Tuesday was the final weekly Monotype Workshop at MoMA - all associated with their wonderful Degas Exhibit.  This was my 3rd visit to the workshop, and I wanted to draw more dancers. I scanned a drawing I did of my ballet teacher, resized it, and printed out several copies to take with me.  When I arrived at the workshop I cut out the image and manipulated it several times to make 3 prints and 2 ghosts.  Here is my original drawing - resized - and the cut-out which became coated with the Akua printmaking ink. 

 

 

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I inked the printing plate and used my cut-out to trace the image in the ink.  Then I used Q-tips to remove more ink and complete the drawing.  This is the first monotype off the printing press.  

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There was still enough ink on the plate to make a good ghost print, and I hope that I can rework the ghost  with ink marks, pastels, paint, or color pencils the way Degas did with his ghost prints. 

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Three Dancers:  I pressed the dancer cut-out on the inked plate 3 times and used the vague imprints to add additional marks in the ink.  I also got a great ghost print after this monotype was printed.

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For my final monotype I put my cut-out, which was now full of ink, on my plate and used a huge brush and additional ink to brush ink on the plate - with brushstrokes beginning on the cut-out and going to the edges of the plate.  I then carefully removed the cut-out and put the plate through the printing press.

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The Museum of Modern Art is a wonderful resource for artists and this collection of workshops were very well attended.  Thank you MoMA. 

June 13, 2016

Sketching Again in New York City

We returned from the beach with our friends and sketched in Central Park and then in Lower Manhattan at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.  This sketch of Belvedere Castle was made from the lawn at the Turtle Pond.  We had sun alternating with gray rain clouds, but there were only sprinkles during the time we were there. The National Weather Service uses it to measure wind and rainfall in Manhattan.

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We ended a walk through Battery Park City and Battery Park at the Old Custom House and it was my second visit to the exhibit called Unbound:  Narrative Art in the Plains  I was attracted to another piece of art by Lauren Good Day Giago, the only woman painter commissioned for this exhibit among nearly a dozen men.  These were two of the images created as a memory to here Grandfather. 

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June 9, 2016

Beach Vacation - Post 3

 

We are almost at the end of our beach vacation with our friends, but will return with our family later this month.  And I continue to collect shells on our beach walks, and also sketched a beach scene and our bedroom for a little variety.

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The item on the bottom right is an operculum, which moon snails use as a latch door over the opening in the shell.  The are almost translucent and have a beautiful structure.

I challenged myself to draw/paint a broken moon snail, but the internal structure is hard to paint to show the depth.

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This was the view from the deck at the Café where we have coffee after our beach walk.

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And after our beach walk, and during the heavy rain and wind, I sketched the bedroom we stay in at the beach.  It is primarily a happy memory page for me and a perspective challenge. 

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June 6, 2016

Beach Vacation - 2nd post

We are at the beach on our 8th annual vacation with dear friends.  I pick up shells on our morning beach walk, but rarely see any that I haven't found and sketched previously over the years.  But that makes these trips more memorable!

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I made a new case for my sunglasses using strip-piecing and old scraps from my fabric stash.  The analogous hot colors make me smile!

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I love watching the seagulls and managed to get a photo of one right as it was beginning to take off in flight. 

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We drove down to the beach on Sunday morning, but it was raining and likely to do so all day.  So we went for coffee at Citarellas and enjoyed the time talking to local residents.

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All of these sketchbook pages were photographed, not scanned, accounting for the pale blue background colors.

 

May 29, 2016

Summer Beach Sketchbook

We are at the beach for a short vacation, and one of our favorite parts of this vacation is our 2 miles walks on the beach early in the morning. 

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My sketching is based very much on what shells I find on the beach during our walks and I make a new watercolor sketchbook for the beach each summer.  I recycled a $2 used book for this year and the square format, 1/2" spine, and theme were perfect.  But most of the "Adventures" were not ocean and beach related, so I only included a few of the original folios and then altered the pages.

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One of the original pages - which was fun for my beach journal.

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 I used parts of a tourist map and newspaper to collage over other pages from 2 folios, and then covered a few with absorbent ground, so I can draw and paint on them. 

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My tutorial for recycling a used book as a watercolor sketchbook is on my blog and here is the link.

 

 

Drawing From My Imagination

I am again loosely following a 100 Day Project - Drawing from My Imagination - even if it takes me more than 100 days.  Last year when I did this, my character Axel was just "born" and being developed.  This year I hope to increase the number of drawings I do with Axel.  Here are a few of the ones I already completed.

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We are going to the beach and may or may not have WiFi for the next few days.  I have a new recycled book to use as my beach sketchbook and can't wait to start using it.  Enjoy the beginning of summer

Painting My Dinner for Sketchbook Skool Homework

Matthew Midgley, a British teacher and illustrator, was the Artist for week 5 in Sketchbook Skool 6.  He is a master at painting his meals, even if it means that he doesn't eat it until cold.  I knew that I couldn't draw and paint, postponing my enjoyment of dinner, so I took photos at our pre-theater dinner last weekend and painted it this weekend.

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Italian bread with olive oil, Caesar salad, a Super Tuscan red wine, sausage pizza, and a cappuccino.  Yum!  

May 27, 2016

Flowers and Figure Drawing

Wednesday is Art Day in Battery Park City from now through October.  This week I went to the morning session in Wagner Park, searching for newly bloomed flowers and painted 3 flowers, all growing from the same stem.  I chose them because I could sit in the shade on the artist stools the Conservancy provides!  But it presented me with the challenge of drawing white flowers on white paper - and kept me happily engaged for an hour.

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In the afternoon I arrived in South Cove (2 blocks away) just as one of the big ships was sailing around the tip of Manhattan and heading north up the Hudson River for fleet week.  There were sailors lined up all around the ship looking at the beautiful views of Lower Manhattan.

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I love Claudia, who was our model for Figure Al Fresco.  I've sketched her before and have good memories of those sessions.  Here is my work for our two hour session - photographed instead of scanned because of the paper size.  I had a mat at home that I put around my longer pose drawings just for fun!

From 10 One Minute Poses:

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Our 4 Five Minute Poses:

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My 4 Ten Minute Poses - I only sketched for 10 minutes even with the 20 minute pose: 

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Shirley Parker Levine
New York City

June 2016

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