Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Three for One Zorn Special...365 Days of Drawing

Seems like there are 'three for one' Holiday specials in all the stores/online outlets, so I thought I would do one too. The last three days of drawing to meet the challenge I have drawn up three heads hoping to paint them soon. You will see them next to a few Sargents I have done in the past. This is a good exercise. Do the copies small. Put the timer on for an hour. Get out a big brush.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

27 Shopping Days "Til Xmas...365 Days of Drawing

There are only 27 shopping days left until Xmas so get your boxes gift-wrapped.

There are only 35 days until this yearly drawing challenge is done. I will be gift-wrapped by then, both physically and mentally.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday...365 Days of Drawing

So how was your Black Friday? I hope your purse is still looking good. I can't afford a Chanel purse but at least I can draw one - and doing so kept me out of the stores.

Anyone got a second-hand one they don't want?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Leftovers?...365 Days of Drawing

Plenty of leftovers in a yearly drawing challenge. This was my effort from yesterday, Thanksgiving, sitting at this table. My husband cooked that stuffed pumkin (can you beleive?) while I drew the sweet one.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

First Time For Everything...365 Day of Drawing

There is a first time for everything and drawing a turkey, for the daily challenge, is a first. They are odd things to draw.

Happy Thanksgiving All!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Let's Talk Turkey-Zorn-licious!...365 Days of Drawing

Ok...let's talk turkey. I really learn from Old Master Anders Zorn as I have discussed many times this year copying his pen and ink drawings often with a Bic pen. I was reminded of a few things this week, the direction I need to go in my art, things I really need to focus on, by a certain present day Master artist I trust deeply.

He told me "Get the Zorn books out". Morgan Weistling also said a similar thing to his students at The Weekend With The Masters three day workshop where I was lucky enough to be his assistant. Morgan said to learn about painting study Zorn etchings.

My Zorn books are never far away but today they are front and centre. This was my drawing for the challenge from yesterday, a copy of Zorn's head, with a paint block-in on the drawing I did today. I wanted to focus on actual paint rather than his etchings on this one. I set myself a timer of about an hour to mass in the shapes with a big brush.

Now I need to do my drawing for TODAY and dress the turkey for TOMORROW. Let's hope I don't get confused and draw a Zorn on the turkey.
You will be seeing a lot more of Zorn in the next few weeks from me until the challenge end.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

OVER IT...365 Days of Drawing

I am not going to lie..I am ready for this daily drawing challenge to be done. I am so over it. I post an assortment of drawing done over the last couple of days to meet it. Nothing particularly inspired.

Home remodeling going on, relatives coming home for Thanksgiving to prep. for, and regular studio life, busy. On top of that I am teaching today and I have a two-day headache. Get the picture?

In this assortment, there are a couple of Loomis copies, a copy of a Morgan Weistling head from his excellent DVD "Painting For The Impatient"( I learn a ton from studying Morgan's way...get his DVD's fast!), a still life demo block-in from my teaching class, and yesterday's drawing of some hot red.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

CATCH THE LIGHT...365 Days of Drawing

I am fascinated by the effect of light on most things but especially on shiny sparkly things like glass and satin. This is often a nuisance when I am trying to get in and out of a daily drawing challenge fast or certainly within the half hour daily commitment to draw.

This drawing, with wash, took me longer than that.. I could have gone on for ever but decided I have a life!

It reminded what fun abstract painters must have. This prism was all about little shapes and values bumping next to each other.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Character...365 Days of Drawing

I love drawing a face full of character. This is a study for a portrait I am about to do and my drawing for the day.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On and on...365 Days of Drawing

Teaching the last couple of days, both teens and adults, and trying to get a painting finished for a client. But the drawing challenge goes on (and on!) I post yesterday's rather rushed drawing, nothing fancy, and today's, my mini class demo at CAI.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Festive Baubles...365 Days of Drawing

Who can resist a Christmas bauble? Certainly not me and my drawing challenge needed one to remind me I am almost at the end.

I thought maybe the drawing on this trinket was too easy, although I worked for a while building up the glow, so I also did a figure quick sketch from Andrew Loomis' Creative Illustration book to flex the 'eye to hand' drawing muscle a little more for the day. I chose not to post this. I think my bauble quite enough for one day's excitement and viewing pleasure.

The bauble is the size of your hand, and a combo of charcoal, oil, watercolor, and gouache on paper, a mixed media technique I used a lot in the early part of the challenge, leaving it around April.

12 x 20, mixed media on paper

Sunday, November 14, 2010

IS ACADEMIC DRAWING A YAWN?...365 Days of Drawing

"GESTURE, CONSTRUCTION, ANATOMY, TECHNIQUE", my main drawing instructor Sheldon Borenstein always advised in his teaching plan as the order of drawing play. He certainly taught me a lot about "GCAT", as he nick-named it.

Gesture (movement) is what you put down in the first few minutes of a drawing. Without movement a drawing is nothing. Construction is added on to that (the boxes, spheres and cylinders of the human forms), then anatomy, and then finally technique. You see it really is that simple! Ha.

Technique takes the longest time I think. To make it your own. Your Point of VIEW. Regular life-drawing, practise, practise, practise and reading and copying from great art anatomy books like George Bridgeman, one can nail down the first three FAIRLY competently within a few years. The books by true modern day master draughtsman Glenn Vilppu (Sheldon's teacher) are certainly the books I have slaved over also like Scrooge over his Christmas ledgers.

I read an interesting blog post yesterday about the highly academic Florence School of drawing and learning. Drawings VERY similar to my last few in this yearly challenge. Polished and worked over for quite some considerable time. Which was my point in wanting to do them. Not that spontaneous. Some were arguing in the post on Florence, that drawings like these, while technically good are not that exciting. Not enough so to speak. Certainly the posts on my Facebook public page, where almost 1,000 are now watching the challenge (thank you!), went way down as I posted these more academic drawings. A certain snore factor set in.

My theory is good drawing, like The Florence School teaches, is a must for the figurative artist and you can sure tell which artist has done their homework on the figure or not. There is NO hiding it. As Vilppu says, there are no rules just tools. But one does need to learn the rules in drawing. I am so grateful I learned to draw from the animator Sheldon/Vilppu school of drawing which is all about movement.

This caused me grief in my early journey. Paralysis by analysis. I would see these technically perfect drawings around mass (more the painter's way) rather than line (line, more the Vilppu way which I was learning) and wonder if I was in the right class. Even artists I admired told me I needed to switch to the mass school of drawing. Oh, the agony of it. But I stuck with those Vilppu books and learned. And I painted a lot from life. That showed me all my faults. Still does.

Time heals art drawing paralysis if you show up often enough to your drawing board. Now I am able to go back and forth between both schools, certainly not a master, but appreciative of what I have learned from both and how line and mass are meshed together in drawings that I like.

Today's drawing I think is a perfect example of how I really like to draw. My technique which has taken me time to work out. Pastel with gouache on paper. With a water wash. Line meets mass. Little loose in places. Not too overworked. And a sense of fun. This drawing took me about one and a half hours.

Let me know your thoughts!!!! Dying to here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

HARDEST drawing so far...365 Days of Drawing


This was surely the hardest drawing for me in the year's challenge so far. I decided to stick with it and have repeatedly shown up to the paper battling it since Tuesday, so five sittings in all.

I am glad I stuck with it, now ready to move on. The bust of this veiled lady was made by the Italian sculptor Raffaelle Monti, 1818 - 1881, and no
w resides in Chatsworth House in England. I saw it quite some time ago in the challenge and knew I would draw it one day - and I also knew it would take me quiet a while. Getting that expression under the veil with such small shapes to work with was not so easy. I really did almost give up.

I am left humbled by sculptors/sculptures like this. How on earth did they carve a veil in marble when I struggle to do it in pastel???? I remember on my first visit to Rome a few years ago being more blown away by the sculpture, particularly Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1598-1680, Naples, than anything else. His sculptures were nothing short of miraculous. Pure genius. Just look at his work, which I post here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Most Beautful Girl in The World...365 Days of Drawing

Malo has to be one of the most beautiful women in the world, both inside and out. When she walked into my teaching class at CAI yesterday, I knew that my heart wasn't in painting anyone or anything that day. A day on the beach in Hawaii was what I had in mind.

I decided to get a big brush out, slap some thick brushstrokes down, concentrating on planes and simple form-hugging five values - and leave it at that. Some of my best head studies from life have actually been painted this way, when I don't over-noodle.

This is far from what I would have liked to have painted of Malo but it DID meet the drawing challenge for the day and the drawing block-in was good.

Sorry Malo. I didn't do you justice.

Veiled OCD?...365 Days of Drawing

I was expecting to get lazy at this point in the year's drawing challenge. Cut corners, slack off a little bit. No-one would really notice and I have proved I can draw everyday.

However, today's effort told me I have a veiled case of OCD. Obsessive compulsive disorder.

I basically drew all day even tho' I had other painting I needed to get done in the studio.

I simply HAD to go back in and make corrections on the wretched, by now four sitting, drawing, of the Polynesian girl cast. It will go down as one of my least favorite drawings of the year in terms of effort - and result.

Then I started a new cast drawing of girl in veil which no matter how hard I tried I could not pull off. VERY subtle shapes and values. I may now abandon it but something in me is stubborn and wants to kick its' drawing a..s.

After a short break on the wretched veil I started teaching my teen class late afternoon and did a drawing set-up demo of a still life, kind of a Toystory. The drawing came easy. No wonder, I had been drawing by now ALL day.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Keep it Simple...365 Days of Drawing

I post the fourth and final sitting

My latest drawing for the challenge done in three separate sittings over three days this weekend in pastel.

First sitting establishing just the light and shadow side of the form using just two values (from the five value system I use and teach).

The second sitting going to five values, adding halftones to the light side of the form and establishing the lightest planes, using three values for the light, then working on the turning edge and reflected lights, using the two remaining values for the shadow side.

The third and final sitting, this morning, for just half an hour, with a fresh eye, punching up the darks and softening and hardening edges.

The reference for this pastel drawing was a cast I saw years ago in the cast room at The Philadelphia School of Art. An amazing place.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What am I DRAWN TO?...365 Days of Drawing

I am drawn to drawing beautiful exotic women, young sweet children and anything somewhat poignant, romantic or sparkling. I can't help myself and I don't fight it anymore. Call me sentimental, I don't care.

I once saw a female artist post on Facebook that doing this kind of art was TOO OBVIOUS and taking advantage of she then painted some really gritty faces to make her point. They were very good too. Was this higher art tho' as I think this was her point? Isn't this taking advantage of ugly people? Who gets to decide this?

Hmm...all those Victorian painters, J.W. Waterhouse, Alma Tadema, Burnes Jones, John Millais and Lord Frederick Leighton to name a few, must have been not only rolling in their graves but their eyes too. They loved to paint a pretty girl or two in transparent airless shifts. Gratuitous? I think not.

I post my drawing for yesterday. It has to be said a craggy old man has it's appeal too especially with an upcoming Santa Claus demo December 3rd that I am now preparing for. Renting costumes, sketching and finding just the right face...(actually I found him this week- thanks Beglar!).

Ssssshhhh.. Santa Claus is real. And painting "pretty" ok.

Friday, November 5, 2010

LIghting..365 Days of Drawing

My class demo Wednesday at The CAI. We are having fun with different lighting situations although it sure is harder for the teacher when one steps away from the standard single source light which makes it the easiest to see form simply. I post the middle and the end.

The third picture is yesterday's drawing for the challenge, a third sitting with the child portrait to re-state the hair. I also wanted to play with his expression more.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Eyes of a child...365 Days of Drawing

Third and final sitting is now posted here

Another drawing done in two sittings on different days. Total drawing time about two hours or so. I may go back in tomorrow for a third sitting and rework the hair... I post early stage and today's.

Today I get to teach a teen class at The Vita Art Center in Ventura. Always fun to not only draw the eyes of a child but see art created through them.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pause for Thought...365 Days of Drawing

I dedicate today's post to a wonderful artist friend of mine, and great supporters of many artists, Michele, who suddenly passed away this weekend, way too young. Puts EVERYTHING into perspective. GO TAKE ON THE DAY!

This is a more finished drawing, done this weekend over two sittings on Saturday and Sunday, total drawing time about two hours, with pastel. I post the progression.