September 12, 2014

Urban Sketchers NYC in Bryant Park

I was meeting the Urban Sketchers Group in Bryant Park, behind the New York City Public Library.  When I arrived, there was a photo shoot in the middle of the lawn, which we assume is a publicity shot for the upcoming revival of On The Town.

P1040866.size.jpg 

When I arrived at our meeting spot, I met Valentina, from Palermo, Sicily - someone who just looked up the NYC USK group and showed up!  I love that the International Urban Sketchers Group provides this level of communication worldwide between artists.  Valentina is the artist on the right.

 

P1040874.size.jpg 

 

I am using a new accordion watercolor book - with a cover of paste paper that I made last winter.

P1040893.size.jpg 

 

I used this for painting the Planetarium from the outside, last Thursday, at the American Museum of Natural History, and for several paintings this week when Urban Sketchers met in Bryant Park. 

P1040892.size.jpg

 

Planetarium

Planetarium.size.jpg 

These paintings, the Southwest Porch Patio, and the Fountain are from Bryant Park. 

SWPorch.Bryant.Pk.size.jpg 

 

 

BryamtParkFountain.size.jpg 

 

As I was leaving Bryant Park I took a photo of another fascinating NYC site.   Any ideas??

 

P1040888.size.jpg 

 

September 9, 2014

Wedding Weekend in Minneapolis

We spent this past weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota for a very special wedding.  And I actually made time to sketch in my daily watercolor sketchbook and finished 5 pages in 3 days.  I haven't done an airport - waiting plane drawing in a very long time - but I had a few minutes to spare.

Airplane.MN.size.jpg 

There was a beautiful flower arrangement in the area around the elevator, so I sat for a few minutes - long enough for a quick sketch and painting on our way out Saturday morning. 

 

CalleLilies.MN.size.jpg 

 

On Sunday we had a few hours before we had to leave for the airport and were with our wonderful friends Jeff and Sara.  Sara and I sketch at the beach each summer, so we voted for a walk and some sketching while our husbands talked.  We walked down Nicolette Mall and chose this huge fountain sculpture called Minnesota Birds.  I only could fit the heron and grouse on my page.  The Loon was on the other side, and only a few tail feathers were visible from our angle. 

MN.Birds.size.jpg 

 

I gave Sara a choice of a few Tombow water-soluble markers and taught her the continuous line (or almost continuous line drawing) with watercolor washes that Brenda Swenson gave us for homework in Sketchbook Skool Semester 2.  Here is my wonky lamp post with hanging baskets of flowers.

Lamp.MN.size.jpg 

 

With an extra few minutes right before we had to leave, I sketched the man sitting in front of me on the wall around the sculpture. 

Randomer.MN.size.jpg 

  

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:

AtgetCover.size 

 

Front End Paper:

Front.endpaper.size.jpg 

 

Back End Paper: 

Back.Endpaper.size.jpg 

 

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.

Eiffel%20Tower.size.jpg 

 

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 

 

September 1, 2014

Urban Sketchers New York - Union Square

The Weekday Urban Sketchers in New York met at Union Square last week and I painted on the back side of my accordion watercolor sketchbook  I enjoyed using this book so much that I made another one today!

This is the full spread from Union Square on the back side of the accordion panels.

P1040828.size.jpg 

 

Here are the individual paintings:

 

Vegetables and flowers from the Farmer's Market.

FarmersMarket.size.jpg 

 

A chair, umbrella, and sign from Pavillion - an open restaurant at the north end of Union Square.

PavillionUmbrella.size.jpg 

 

The Entrance to the Subway Station and a young woman burning incense and selling crystals and other spiritual items. 

CrystalSeller.size.jpg 

 

This group will now meet on Thursdays - from 11-3 - at various venues around New York City.  Anyone who is interested in joining the group can follow the Urban Sketchers NY Blog to learn about the weekly site.   

 

 

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.

HalfPortrait.size.jpg 

 

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.

DrawingHands.size.jpg 

 

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.

P1040822.size.jpg

P1040826.size.jpg 

 

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.

FlatironBldg.size.jpg

 

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. 

FlatironPrep.size.jpg 

 

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. 

Fifthand23rd.size.jpg 

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.

Toulouse-Lautrec%20Drawing.size.jpg 

 

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.

JasperJohnsRegrets.size.jpg 

 

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. 

ParisMetro.size.jpg 

 

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?? 

PaintMe1.size.jpg 

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. 

 

BPC.2.size.jpg 

 

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. 

BPC.size.jpg 

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!

MugCollection.size.jpg 

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?"

Selfie.size.jpg 

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! 

Water.drops.size.jpg

 

Shirley Parker Levine
New York City

September 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        
Powered by
Movable Type 3.38