July 18, 2017

Deliberate Practice: Drawing Hands and a Foot

 I like figure drawing, and when there are live models, I try to draw hands, and sometimes feet on the longer poses (10, 20 minute poses).  But I need to continue to draw both hands and feet from photographs, and save photos from magazine advertisements for that purpose.  I have one sketchbook devoted to these deliberate practice drawings, and these are 3 that I did so far this summer.



I search for photos of hands holding smart phones, and here is one with these other drawings.



I like to draw hands in normal positions - but I liked this hand holding a hat too.

3. FaceHatHandSIZE.jpg 

July 14, 2017

Another Month, Another Beach

We are visiting friends in Martha's Vineyard for a few days, and enjoy the contrast between the Hamptons and Vineyard beaches.  It was very misty for our first beach walk, and quite beautiful.


I haven't done a sketch at the airport in many years, but we had lots of time before our flight and I had a good window seat in the gate area.  It is a 30 min flight from JFK airport, and when the weather is nice it is fun to watch the geography below.



My friend is an art historian and they have amazing ethnic art in their summer home.  I couldn't resist this really neat African sculpture, and wanted to see how to sketch the attached shells.




July 11, 2017

Camp Letter Mail Art

Three of our grandchildren are in summer camp and each year I try to send them one letter each week.  Last year I started adding drawings of Axel, an imaginary character that one of my grandchildren said came here from the moon.  Axel drawings appear periodically and I even expanded the original illustration for my final project in my illustration course.  Axel is dressed in orange.

Axel and Friends


Letter Envelope for Week 1 Letter from me to the kids:  


Envelopes from Letters 2nd week:  We see camp photos of them daily and I used three favorites to draw Axel participating in the same sports as in their photos.


My oldest grandchild told me that he tore the Axel drawing off the first envelope and hung it up in his bunk for the summer.  That makes me happy! 

July 8, 2017

Figure Al Fresco at Battery Park City

We had a new, lovely, elegant, balletic model at Battery Park City on Wednesday.  She wore a simple dress and had bare shoulders, and legs which made it easier to see her body positions.  The following 5 minute sketches were sketched with a soluble graphite pencil, and then clear water was used to spread the graphite to add some color/shading.



I used the same "Sketch and Wash" pencil for these 15 minute poses, but sketched the model on pre-painted watercolor paper.  It is fun to see the random places where the drawing overlaps the paint - as an unplanned exercise.


July 6, 2017

Flowers and Florine

Wagner Park Flowers last Wednesday morning.  A quick search of Hydrangea images and information suggests these belong to the category lacetops.  I also sketched a cone flower and an unknown.


I explored the Florine Stettheimer exhibit at the Jewish Museum on Thursday and was more interested in the history of this Victorian painter and her family, than the paintings.  The early paintings had a more interesting range of values and compositions.  This is the self-portrait I chose to copy, as I continue to practice facial features.


June 30, 2017

Sydney and the Swan Float

We spent 5 days at the beach with our family, and even though we took our usual early morning beach walks, the rest of the days were busy with the family - and especially with the 8 children in the pool.  I still wanted at least one drawing in my summer sketchbook from this important weekend, and decided to commemorate the favorite pool activity - riding the swan. There was always one or two children climbing on or off. This is our grand daughter Sydney - drawn and painted from a photo I took.


June 29, 2017

Prime Time at the Museum of Modern Art

Prime Time Tour:  With guides Danielle and Jenny (Danielle:  An intern for 2016-2017, Jenny -Assistant Curator who worked on plans for this exhibit for 4 years!) .   Robert Rauschenberg and Friends is this summer's huge exhibit at MoMA.  It covers the entire 4th floor of the museum.  Last week I attended gallery talks, each for two hours on Tuesday and Thursday, which were part of the MoMA Prime Time experience.  As we sat in front of the art works I quickly realized that I wouldn't be able to sketch any of the selected works, so I sketched our guides Danielle (an intern at MoMA) and Jenny (an assistant curator for the exhibit).




Prime Time is a special program for seniors, which includes both art history and art skills programs.  It is so popular that you must be on their mailing list and register quickly when the programs are advertised by email. 

I like some of Rauschenberg's work, specifically his silk screen and collage works, but I knew almost nothing about him.  What I learned was that he was most interested in (1) exploring techniques in art, pushing them in new directions and (2) establishing lots of collaborations for his art, including other artists, writers, dancers, composers, and even engineers.  This is a link to the exhibit, and there are some good short videos.



June 23, 2017

Art Wednesdays in Battery Park City June 21st

I love the free adult art program sponsored by the Battery Park City Conservancy from May through October.  On Wednesday mornings I stop briefly in Wagner Park to draw individual flowers in bloom.  Maybe someday I will grow to like painting landscapes.

Wagner Park iris variant:


Multiple Flowers in Bloom this week:   


In the afternoon I go to Figure Drawing sessions which are held in South Cove, also in Battery Park City.

Short Poses (5-10 minutes):


Longer Poses (10-20 minutes): 


On the hottest days in NYC, there is always shade and a lovely breeze in the afternoon.   


June 20, 2017

Annual Family Beach Weekend

We just returned from our Family Weekend at the Beach.  We had a wonderful time with our 3 children, their spouses, and all 8 grandchildren.  Although my husband and I took our regular beach walks, one morning with our oldest grandson Henry, I never seemed to get around to sketching.  But we did get photos - one of the most difficult things with our big group.

Our 3 children - Jason, Rachel, and Noah - parents of all 8 grandchildren.  


Barry and I (celebrating our 50th Wedding Anniversary) and all 8 grandchildren - ages 4-14: 


Left to Right: Robbie, Callum, William on my lap, Annabelle, Barry, Zachary, Henry, and Charlie on Sydney's lap. 


Shirley Parker Levine
New York City

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