Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Drawings July 26th

We had our final drawing session last night that was run by the models while Scott is away at school. The male model we had way back in June was back. I have to say that I think I did a better job with the drawings the first time he posed for us. The colored pencil drawing I did for his first pose is so much better than what I did last night, oh well. My semi excuse is that I was using the Derwent pencils for the first time at a session, and I need to organize them in the holders in a way that will allow me to find the colors I need more quickly. I also need to learn what colors to use for skin tones etc. 

Not many folks were there last night, just 4 of us in fact (not including the model). What a contrast to a week ago Monday when the place was packed. I am slowly meeting the South Shore Artists who do work. A woman who I hadn't met before came last night, and will I believe be coming back though not for a while since she is going away for the month of August.  Anyway I did far too much talking last night and not enough drawing. It particularly shows in the Colored pencil drawing, though I am thinking there are also issues with the drawing above. At one point I had his torso way too long, and had to do a lot of erasing to make the adjustment. 

In the colored pencil drawing above, I think I have his head too large, and probably have the head too small in the pencil drawing (sigh) I also didn't use enough color on the body, that is a pencil issue which I have a feeling will take a bit of time to work out, learning the colors and what works and what doesn't work. I have a lot more colors with the Derwent pencils then I do with the old Venus line so I have more options which isn't always a good thing. However I cannot replace the Venus pencils, so I really need to learn to work with the Derwent. I am using them for all the work I do at home, so feel I should also be using them in the Studio.  

Otherwise I am thinking about my design for the FFFC July challenge, working on some fun type illustrations, and making more pencil holders. I almost finished another two yesterday, but since I have been adding the Derwent Artist line pencils to the collection I am not really getting ahead of the number of pencils I have. Good thing the holders are relatively easy and quick to make.

That is it for this post, per usual comments are welcome.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sketchbook Project Spreads 5 & 6

Well I have two more spreads finished for the Sketchbook Project, and am back to where I was last week, not sure of what to do next. Oh my, this is going to get interesting I can tell, I only have 33 more spreads to finish before I have to send the book back in January. Obviously I am open to suggestions both now and in the future.

I like the chicks above, but the egg shells should have had a bit more brown in them, oh well done is done, and the actual drawing does look a bit more brown then the scan does, and while I know I can play with the results in Photoshop I decided it worked OK the way it is so I left it. I downloaded and used a bunch of reference photos to create this little drawing. Chicks came from one, eggs another, and the straw from a 3rd, so the final drawing doesn't look like any of my photos. I had fun creating the text on the left, and by using different colors I managed to separate the words. My challenge is to link the description words visually, in this case not to hard, sort of like building a cross word puzzle, but I get to work with a limited number of words.  Sometimes the text isn't quite so easy to layout as in my next spread.

Next image is Spread 6 for the book: Fish in A bowl

I did think about using 3 fish, but the bowl is a bit too small for three fish, and yes I know it isn't a real bowl so if I had really wanted 3 fish I could have put them in, but I think that in the above image the plant acts almost as a third fish. Course I don't see how that poor leaping goldfish could make it back in the bowl, so my image isn't all that realistic when you get right down to it. Again I downloaded reference images and combine different elements to come up with the above drawing. It was fun to do. The text for this one was a bit tricky and I am not sure it totally works, but I didn't want to spend a lot of time with it so just went with the first idea that I felt actually worked. Again I am trying to use color to separate the words visually.

OK I think I am done with this project for this week, now I need to go think about making a Challenge quilt. The FFFC for July is work with a tree design. I love trees so this should be somewhat fun, though we are supposed to use unusual materials, and I am not sure how I will translate that part of the challenge.

Don't forget if you have any theme suggestions let me know, course other comments are also welcome.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July 19 Long Session

Another Monday night modeling session has come and gone. For a bit last night I was concerned that the session had been called off and I didn't know about it, the models were late arriving. Fortunately one of the other artists was also there and he said there hadn't been anything on the blog about canceling so we just waited. A bit ironic that they were late because it turned out to be the most well attended session that I have been to. Not only were the usual group of men there (about 4) but we had 3 additional women, one who I have met before, a pair who I hadn't met, and then 3 younger women arrived. So not counting the model there were 12 of us there at one point. They young women didn't stay for the whole session, but then they had brought charcoal for sketching and that can get a bit old fairly quickly esp. with a long pose. Which is one reason why I have been doing pencil drawings instead.

We certainly had mixed media last night, one woman with pastels, one man doing a watercolor piece, several oil painters, a couple of us with colored pencils, and the young women with charcoal.

I had met last nights model previously, but not as a model, she was at one of the short pose sessions drawing. I fear I didn't capture her face very well, she is actually Asian, and I think you don't get that from the drawings. I came closer with the graphite drawing above then with the colored pencil drawing, oh well. Next week is the last week of long poses being run by the models, we will have David the male model from the 2nd session back, so that should be fun. Then starting in Aug. Scott will be back and I will have to decide which session I want to attend, long poses, or short. I am thinking at at least for August I may let the weather forecast decide. I don't want to haul the large paper tablet up the stairs if it is going to be hot.

Below is the colored pencil drawing from last night session: Earlier I rather liked it, but now I am not so sure, so either the photo doesn't do it justice or I am just seeing issues I hadn't noticed before. Probably a combination.

I have two more images to post. The weather was a bit cooler today (only in the low 80's) and I spent all afternoon out and about. First having an excellent lunch and then heading over to the Blue Hills Trailside Museum for some picture taking.  First photo was taken there, some black(brown) eyed susans:

If I had a telephoto lens for the camera I might have been able to get a good photo of a ruby throated humming bird, as I saw several feeding this afternoon, once the male came, usually I just see the females. But without the lens I didn't even try to make any photos. I also saw house finches, a female cardinal,  titmice, a nuthatch, and goldfinches, along with various sparrows and morning doves. It was fun.  

The second photo was taken at a landscaped area in the Brockton park. I believe these are Cosmos, I also photographed a lot of different colored day lilies, some very striking. Maybe for a different post I will include some of those.

That is it for this post. Per usual comments are welcomed.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sketchbook Project Spread 4

After I finished the Green Pepper in June, I sort of went blank for a subject for my Sketchbook drawings. I felt I had done enough with food, at least for the time being but hadn't solidified any new themes. My sister has been offering suggestions, and though this isn't quite one of her suggestions I am going to use variations on what she did suggest for my next few drawings. The mouse above is inside/outside the wall. The cat is sitting on the outside of the wall waiting for the mouse to come just a bit further out. I admit to using reference photographs to draw both cat and mouse, esp the position of the cat. But the actual illustration is from my imagination (and all those cartoons I watched growing up). Since I sort of know what the next 2 pages will be there shouldn't be such a long gap between my posting as there has been between spread 3 and 4. Again this drawing has been done with both graphite and colored pencils.

Thanks for looking and remember comments are welcome. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July 12th Long Session

Another long pose drawing session last night. Thankfully yesterday wasn't as hot as last Monday so the studio wasn't too bad heat wise. Though I did get a bit warm toward the end of the session, all those lights, the ones on the model and the ones we use to light our drawing/painting surface make the studio heat up despite the AC. Our model last night was a pretty young blond woman. She was wearing a robe which of course ended up slightly different each time she took the pose. I had a very hard time with her hands, not totally sure why. I know why I had troubles with the left hand, she kept moving it and changing its position. I realized at the first break that she is a smoker and I have a feeling she was wanting a cigarette very badly during the first long session. She was driving me crazy, every time I would go to draw that hand she was moving it, ACK. The right hand I have no excuses about, for some reason I found the position tricky to draw.  Except for her left hand she held pose very well, esp with her head.  Sometime during our second pose session I switch over to my colored pencils, final drawing below.

Looking at the drawing now I realize her head position is a bit too forward, and I had issues with breast placement, in fact I was reworking some bits this morning, I probably should have left it alone, but it was looking very odd so... There are parts of this I like, her face, her hair, but... ah well each session is a learning experience, which is how I have to think of it.

That is it for this post. I have been busy working on more pencil holders, one day I should have enough to haul my Derwent pencils around with me, which is my goal. Otherwise I have started sketching another Sketchbook page, but need to get it finished before I post it here and elsewhere.

Per usual comments welcome.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Drawings July 5th long session

It is July and it is HOT here in the Boston area, it was fairly warm at last nights studio session, but I survived it, actually we all survived it. The model last night was the same young woman who modeled at the first short pose session I attended this year. Last night she was wearing her belly dancing costume. As you can see it was a lovely bright red, I think I would call it scarlet. Not going to add a lot of comments today, it is getting too hot. But I will say that I had a very hard time getting her face even close to what she looks like. She is quite lovely to look at but her facial proportions are a bit tricky, long nose, a relatively short forehead, add to that that she wears bangs and things get confusing. I did the colored pencil drawing above second, and manged a bit better with her face, on the graphite drawing below, I don't want to even think about how many times I had to redraw her face before I was even half way satisfied. Still not quite right, but it will have to do.  The only thing that makes me feel a bit better about the trouble I was having is that most of the other artists were also having difficulties.

The colored pencil drawing last night was lots of fun to draw, with the various colored drapes and the color of her costume there were a lot of colors to utilize. Last night there was even someone else working with colored pencils, maybe I will start a trend.

That is it for this post. Comments per usual are welcomed. Hope where ever you are you are staying cool.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

FFFC 46 Fossils of a Different Color

Above is my Fast Friday Fabric Challenge #46 for the month of June. It is a day late, but actually with my recent track record that is very good. It is small, only 10.5 x 10 inches, almost square. I am surprised as I rarely work square but that is what this one seemed to want so there it is. I am calling it Fossils of a Different Color. The challenge this month was to use geology and unexpected colors. Fossils are found in layers of rock, and I find them fascinating so I decided to use one for my quilt. The above fossil is based on some photos I found through Google, and to be honest I am not even sure what it is a fossil of, some short of shelled animal, probably a nautilus.

Process for this quilt was to create the drawing of the large fabric fossil based on the photos I found, then I created freezer paper templates.  I had also done some thumbnail sketches of how the final quilt could be laid out including the smaller fossils that would be done with stamps and paint.

For the background fabric enhancement I designed and cut two stamps based on the shape I was using for the large fossil. I had picked out a background fabric of a light fuchsia color, and decided I would use a dark blue and greens for the large fossil. While I was working on another project I came across a batik that sort of looked like stone to me and that used the colors I was working with. I decided to add it to the background as a base for my large fossil. I had purchased more acrylic fabric paints for this project, blue and green pearlized colors by Jacquard. Below is a photo of the stamping process with one of the two stamps I carved. What you see here is just one stamp with blue paint, I used the second stamp with the blue then I switched to the green paint and did some over stamping. The fabric is pinned to a padded base that I made a while ago to use as a support underneath the fabric when I stamp.

I used my freezer paper templates to create the large fossil, ironing the templates to fabric and then cutting them out. Using a white fabric glue to temporarily hold it all together I pre-assembled the large fossil. After I stamped the background I let it dry for a day, then ironed it to heat set the paint. Next I positioned the large fossil and using a narrow satin stitch sewed the unit down to the layered quilt top . The image below is the sandwiched quilt after I had attached the large fossil but before I did the background quilting. The Thread spools you see are what I was auditioning to use.

I started using the gray thread on the top right, but it was shredding in the needle after sewing a few minutes, so since I was working under a certain amount of time restraint I decided to just use something else rather then try and figure out how to make it work. I ended up using another color of King Tut variegated thread besides the one you see on the left above which I used on the fuchsia background.  Once it was quilted I trimmed the top a bit more and applied the binding using the same fabric I had used for the background. All fabrics and threads are 100% cotton, batting is also 100% cotton and fairly thin.

That is it for this post. Now I need to go post this quilt on the FFFC blog, and several other groups I belong to. Comments are welcome as usual.