Sunday, July 8, 2018

It's All About the Figure

The third week we started on the full figure! Mainly in black and white, lots of sketches, sketches, and more sketches! The name of the game is PRACTICE! Like everything else, we like to do! First I want to share some good reference links. The first Croquis Cafe, an endless site for everything to do with figure drawing. The second Royal Academy Life Drawing Class.

We got five stills to do gesture sketches in ink and watercolor pencil. I am slowly getting over my fear of INK. It's still intimidating, but the more I practice the better I feel. These are timed 10 minute sketches to keep from "noodling"!

12.5 x 9.5"

9.75 x 13.75

12.5 x 9.5"

15.75 x  13"

9.75 x 13.5

Next, we did some upsidedown drawing. This is a great exercise because it helps to eliminate the left brain telling us what we are drawing.  She gave us two examples from Egon Schiele.  Worked with graphite wash pencil and added some crayons as well. Adding water gives a painterly look. Loved doing these!

9 x 11.75
Watercolor graphite + Neocolor I crayons

9 x 11.75
Watercolor graphite 
Did two of these turning the paper!

Here some links for references. Egon Schiele work on Instagram, and a figure drawing board of Pauline's on Pinterest.

Finally a pastel painting of a figure.

9.75 x  13.75"
Pastel Pencils + Pastels
Tinted Paper

9.75 x  13.75"
Pastel Pencils + Pastels
Tinted Paper

Tomorrow we start putting it all together!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Color Color Color

From the Heart e-course, this week is all about color. Building up a color palette based on Master's painting.  This palette was made up of a warm and cool of each primary, raw umber, and white. In the lesson, we used a Sargent painting.

Cadmium yellow- lemon yellow - cadmium red - alizarin crimson - ultramarine blue- Prussian blue -raw umber - white. I added a second cool blue to the palette, a primary blue. 

Various mixes
I preferred the Prussian blue over the more turquoise blue

Using a blending app or blending in Photoshop we took our ink sketch from the previous week and blended it with a discarded painting of Pauline. This was used as an inspiration of how to develop a different way of seeing and using color in a portrait.

Composite using Photoshop

My Version 
10 x 13.75 "
Oils + cold wax
Still too timid!

Berthe Morisot pastel. Pauline introduced us to this marvelous impressionistic artist. Because being a woman she was less known than her contemporaries like Monet. She is an expert draughtsman. Worth looking at and learning from her work which has a very contemporary feel.  Because she was a woman, her death certificate stated no profession. She painted over 800 paintings.

Using a photograph of Berthe we used pastels to make a portrait. I had 2 small sets of pastels and box of pastel pencils stowed away because never felt I connected with this media. But I took the dive, we are on a learning experience!

Pastel Study
Berthe Morisot
9 x 12 "
Tinted Canson Paper
Pauline suggested that I break up the right white line

9 x 12 "
Tinted Canson Paper

More color
9 x 12 "
Tinted Canson Paper

A Berthe oil study without a drawing. Another exercise to dive in! This time only using 3 primary colors; cadmium yellow, cadmium red, and ultramarine blue, along with raw umber and white. Was way out of my comfort zone! Mainly used a palette knife.

My palette oils + cold wax
Mixed a grey 

First layers
Oils on paper
14 x 14 "

Oils on paper
14 x 14 "
Second Layer
Lots to fix here

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Still Around and Kicking

Can't believe that my last post was at the beginning of the month and here I am the last week! So much happened that kept me away from blogging, although I wrote many in my head.

Still doctoring my sprained ankle which is much better. Have had a checkup and still have to wear my air-cast till the middle of July but have started going back to the pool. Since the best position was lying down with my ankle up, could do much computer work. Blogger on the tablet is not the same.

My daughter's cat Mishmish was found after being missing for a month. Posted her photo on the community google group. A Miracle! Lots of good people out there!
Yes, I am cat-sitting two cats while my daughter + family are having a grand tour of the far east!

A few days before going missing!

This week was the last lesson of our workshop. That is the workshop that is run through the regular channels of community activities. We were in for 3 whole months of "vacation". Luckily we organized with Reuven, our mentor, that we will be able to continue meeting in a different location during the months of July and August. YAY!!!!So only September we will be on vacation, which has all the holidays. The first month will be devoted to learning from the ground up "oils". Although I work in oils I never really got instructions from the ground up. Learned by doing, which has its place, and tutorials from the web. It will be an introduction to oils for those who work in acrylic. The second month we will delve in on "mixed media".We will also be a smaller group.

Wide Fields of Your Imagination
Matte Board
31.5 x 24 "
Oils + Cold Wax

Was thinking of developing this in color over the monochromatic layer but Reuven said it stands on its own.

Last week I started my e-course with Pauline Agnew, From the Heart - Painting the Face and Figure with Feeling!  I will show some of the first-weeks exercises.  Can't believe it's the end of the second week. Each exercise is a world of its own and should be done many times to really feel the effect. Not only does Pauline show us through her demos, but she also prepares excellent slide shows of various artists and explaining how important it is to learn from the masters.

Exercise I

With eyes closed draw your face while tracing your face with your non-dominant hand! Then taking a colored pencil draw your face with eyes closed by memory! This is a great warmup! As you can see mine is all over the place! Pauline says that's good.

Face Scan

Exercise II

Looking at a portrait sketch by John Singer Sargent make a drawing paying attention to the lines and ways he described his subject. Another great exercise. We are always told to learn by copying, and until you really do it you realize how true this is. I will certainly do more of his sketches as well as others!

My Sargent Sketch

Exercise III

An ink drawing from a photograph! Never did ink before. Was really freaked out! Pauline's critique was that I should have done one more layer of stronger ink.

Ink Sketch

Excercise IV

Remember the face scan, exercise I.  Do a charcoal sketch over that from another of Sargent's work!
Charcoal Sketch I
The critique was to try to define left side of the face in the shadow more

Revised Sketch
Lost some of the vibrance and paper had lost its tooth
Pauline agreed that it faded but we learn by doing
The difference in background color due to one photographed outdoors and one indoors.
Didn't spend time on photo editing!

All for today, off to the pool, I've earned it!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Silly Absurd Funny Ridiculous Whimsical Humor

Silly Absurd Funny Ridiculous Whimsical Humor. Those were the concept words for our latest home project. WOW, what a project, I needed Jen here beside me with some great malarky ideas! Maybe Jen will make an e-course, I'll be the first to sign up! I don't think of myself as a humorous person, it is something that I should develop if one can. It certainly would make life a bit easier.  It was hard for me to relate. Wanted to do a comic of myself, didn't quite work out, thought of making myself into my animal soulmate, the owl. Then I did a Buddha painting in the Sketchbook Revival series, now sadly offline. (Can be purchased ). Stumbled on some laughing Buddhas and developed on that theme. More on the whimsical. I also did make an owl portrait. If I brought a smile then I succeeded!

Buddhas On The Line

Buddha on RISD Alumni Bulletin 
Watercolor Pencil
8.75 x 10.75 "
The Magazine is intact!

Pencil Sketch Watercolor Pencils
9.75 x 13.75"

Two transfers 
9.5 x 12.5

Two Transfers
Crayons Pencil
9.5 x 12.5"

Whimsical Buddha
12.5 x 9.25 "
Pencil and Crayon Sketch

Photo Montage
6.5 x 11.5"

RISD Cover Transfer on B&W Mandela Transfer
Crayons Colored Pencils
My Owl Soul Mate

Luckily I did these before my sprain. Used different materials and methods. At first, I didn't like the Whimsical Buddha but it has grown on me and is now my favorite.
Enjoy and smile

Haven't a clue why my lightbox has stopped working!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

On Top of the World

Thorong Phedi, Nepal, part of the Annapurna Circuit. My grandson Uri at the pass! 

Flying High On Top of the World
27 x 19.5"
Dark Blue Matte Board
Oils and Cold Wax

Finished piece.First draft. Added collage pieces and lots of scratch marks!  Enlarged the photo of Uri in black and white and sort of blended him in. Had to add a bits of the flags with collage pieces as well. 


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Gift Buddha New Start

What a surprise was waiting for me on my table at workshop. One a big 7 x 11.5" handmade sketchbook from heavy watercolor paper, filled with owls and owls and more owls. The background for this was that last week I made a small one-page sketchbook that I learned from Kiala Givehand as part of the Sketchbook revival that I took part in. Sadly they have taken it down already. She also has a great number of youtube videos, but couldn't find the specific one she had on the revival session. I did find one similar but she doesn't show the hidden pages. Anywho I showed Traudi how to make it and she taught her granddaughter while making me the OWL book. Traudi also gave me another sketchbook like the one she previously gave me, she decided she wasn't going to use it and since mine is almost filled, it should be mine! Thank YOU Traudi, I so wish I could share some of her work but alas she hasn't a blog or Instagram etc. Maybe someday! And now you ask, why OWLS.
Well, we were discussing our project and I mentioned that I took an online quiz and OWL is my soul animal.





Hidden Pages
lifting pages 1 -2

Full Spread

Back Cover

We all have some down days where our mind takes over with thoughts and we can't seem to get rid of them. With me, I take a nap which is like an escape sleep. After a shower decided to get it out on paper. In the sketchbook revival, I learned that scribbling and writing on the page has great power.
It really helped and this Buddha was the result! I also remembered the HUGE Buddha at the RISD Museum that I often visited. It was so calming and peaceful!

15 x 13"
Pencil HB on Light Sketchbook Page

 Well, hope you've come this far. This week at Workshop we had our guest mentor Ariel Asseo.
Since his specialty is in realistic figure painting I decided to do two figures. Not happy at all with this WIP. But in the spirit that I show what going on on my easel.  Have to fix the drawing mistakes particularly the left arm and decide on a color palette. It was the end of the session so I used oil sticks instead of getting out my paints. 

Charcoal  Oil Sticks 
Colored Matte Board
21.5 x 27.5

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Hidden Blocks and Dolls II

Remember Hidden Blocks and Dolls?  Brought it to class today to tweak. Decided to listen to Reuven and not touch it.

Hiding Among the Blocks
19.5 x 16.5"
Cut Canvas taped to cardboard
Oils  Cold Wax

One of the best parts of our workshop is toward the end when Reuven walks us through the various works in progress. So much is learned during these sessions. One such lesson was to listen to him when he says to stop. He explained that sometimes we reach a point that we don't recognize or understand, we still feel is not complete. That is when we want to satisfy what WE feel and usually not in the interest of the painting. I am so glad that I didn't tweak my painting and started something new!

Recently I saw Jen Walls new cover image on FB at reminded me of the Annapurna Circuit that my daughter and family did last month. She said she worked from photos "inspired by photos from my brother-in-law's trips there". Decided to use one of my grandson at the same spot as my trigger. The Thorong La Pass, Thanks Jen for the inspiration. 

27 x 19.5"
Dark Blue Matte Board
Oils and Cold Wax

PS Have already scratched into this and pasted a collage piece!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

I Am a Happy Camper

Time was well spent on the computer running my painting through some of the abstraction filters in Studio to help me "see" the whole image. Reuven gave me permission that every tool is Kosher so using a digital tool is just as legitimate as using a ruler of camera etc. That said I used the image I made but when I felt that I was using it more as a reference rather than a new direction I closed the tablet.

I felt I had a good day and I am a Happy Camper.

It Finally Came Out of the Wash
20 x 28 " cut canvas mounted on cardboard
oils  cold wax collage
Palette Knife

Monday, May 7, 2018

Workshop Hidden Blocks and Dolls

This was also one of what I called "my ruined paintings". Brought it to class and Reuven said I should make more of these "ruined paintings" Got an excellent critique, but I think I will add more tweaks, nothing drastic, just a little more oomph!

19.5 x 16.5"
Cut Canvas taped to cardboard
Oils  Cold Wax

Veiled and Scraped back
19.5 x 16.5"
Cut Canvas taped to cardboard
Oils  Cold Wax

Put it through some filters in Studio to get some ideas. Funny how the camera sees more blues than there are!
I hope to occasionally post some sketchbook journal pages!