Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day, Sketches and Figure Drawings

My sister commented to me over the weekend that I haven't updated the blog for a couple of weeks. It isn't so much that I haven't been doing any drawing, just that the drawing I have been doing has been either from my figure drawing sessions or out in the field and they are mostly just sketches. Still I felt it was time that I posted an update even if I don't have anything major to show.

I have started another colored pencil work based on the drawing above. The above is something that I more or less doodled in a sketchbook. I scanned the drawing, enlarged it and have transferred it via tracing paper to a larger piece of Stonehenge paper. So far I haven't managed to apply a lot of color. Some areas are done but it isn't ready for prime time yet so though I would just post the sketch to give you an idea of what I was working on. I know others post in-process images of their works but honestly I am not a huge fan of doing that. I think it spoils the impact of the finished work. Course I may change my mind but we will see.

One thing I was doing until last week was trying to get out and about to the various parks and Audubon sites to sketch and photograph. The last seven days have been cloudy, rainy and chilly so haven't been able to get out much for photographs. Still the week we had with sun allowed me to make the above page. I was over at Ellisville Harbor a State park on the coast and drew the above flowers.

I didn't see a lot of birds on my visit, well I did see the Osprey, but the tide was coming in so I didn't see any shore birds. I did see some tree swallows who were flying at and around the top of the cliff next to the ocean, not sure what they were after, exposed clay to eat for salt, digging holes for nesting. I really couldn't tell even though I watch them for a while. Not sure when I will go back there, the steps down to the beach were damaged this winter in one of our severe storms and the current path is a bit tricky to navigate.

Otherwise my main drawing activities have been attending one of the weekly figure drawing sessions. Above is the last long pose drawing I made in the beginning of May. I was fairly pleased with how this one came out, she had a net shall over her chest, not which I have hopefully managed to suggest to the viewer.

These next two images show some of my short pose drawings from a couple of weeks ago. I attended another short pose session last week and will post some of those images in the next blog update.

Drawings in the top image were all from 2 minute poses so are very sketchy the 2 just above were both longer poses, on 5 minutes and one 10. This model likes to take very active poses. To be honest sometimes I find them a bit too active and would be happy with a couple that aren't so extreme. Ah well each model brings their own personality to the sessions, and whatever the pose drawing it can be a challenge.

I want to close with a couple of photographs. I know I have missed some flowers that I wanted to photograph. Just because we had a week of clouds and rain doesn't prevent the flowers from blooming and getting past the point when I want to photograph them. But I did find these lovely little Birdfoot Violets on one of my excursions. On my way to Ellisville Harbor I drove through Miles Standish State park and noticed some blue flowers blooming by the side of the road. I was above to pull over and go to investigate with the camera. To my surprise they were clumps of violets. I had seen these before years ago on one of my walks in the Blue Hill Reservation. I love these sweet little flowers.

My last photograph is of a Barn Swallow. I was over at Daniel Webster in the North blind when I noticed some swallows flying around the windows in a manner that suggested that they wanted to come inside. The gentleman who was inside told me that they did as the swallows had built a nest in the eves of the blind. When he left and I remained still enough the swallow got brave enough to come in to check out their nest, one paused for a bit sitting in the open window allowing me to photograph it.  

That is it for today. Today the sun is shining and I want to get out with the camera to see what I can find. Hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day, per usual comments are always welcome.

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Week of Mixed Art

It has been a week of creating mixed quality art for me. The above is a fairly quick drawing of a Husky from a reference photograph I made at Borderland State Park this week. Not as good as last weeks cat drawing, but then I prefer cats to dogs so spent more time on that one. The dogs coat is a real challenge in this drawing, it is very fluffy and hard to get right. I rather like the photograph so may try again at some point to make a good drawing of this animal.

I have spent a lot of the past week out and about enjoying our beautiful weather. The above is my attempt at a plein air watercolor sketch. Made at Houghton's Pond in the Blue Hills. I should have left out that tree trunk on the right. I have never been able to successfully paint tree trunks. I can recall other horrible plein air paintings with tree trunks, thankfully long destroyed. Size of this is 4 x 6 inches, postcard size. About the only area I am pleased with is the background woods across the water. Obviously I need a lot more practice with watercolor.

I purchased a small set of travel watercolors a bit over a week ago and this was my first venture out with them. The bush that comes in the box is way too small even for a small work, I need to figure out some way to take additional brushes that are larger with me. It is hard to get a good wash with a small brush.

Above is last Monday nights long pose figure drawing. I am not very happy with it. Her face is OK but that is about the only part I am pleased with. Not sure what is going on, I know part of the issue was my paper. I had finished the pad of paper that I  have been using for over the past year and had to change paper manufactures. The paper I am using here is good paper, Strathmore Drawing, but it has a surface and tooth that I am no longer used to. I found it a bit distracting to draw on. Ah well since I can't seem to find a replacement for my previous pad I will just have to get used to it, and hopefully make a better drawing this week.

Now for a few photographs from my various ramblings to MA Audubon and State Park Sites this past week or so. Above is a photo of a couple of trees just starting to leaf out. Most trees are now much further along, but I just love that pale green against a very blue sky it certainly says spring to me.

I was back at Stony Brook (MA Audubon) this weekend and found the bleeding hearts in bloom in the Butterfly garden. I was actually there because I was hoping that the May Apples were in bloom but found them still in the tight bud stage, though the leaves had grown since my previous visit.

Also again in evidence were the snapping turtles, huge ones a couple of feet across, I don't recall seeing them as active in past years. Believe me when I say that large snappers in action are very impressive.

My last image is a tom turkey displaying in Marshfield, MA. I had been over at Daniel Webster that afternoon and was on my way home when I noticed this turkey just outside the cemetery  Not sure who he was displaying for, I didn't see any hen turkeys around but he was certainly an impressive sight, and not at all shy. I made a lot of photographs of him, not getting to close, but he certainly knew I was there and just seemed to ignore me. Usually wild turkeys take off when they see people so he was definitely in breeding mode. A big bird that I didn't want to get too close to.

That is it for today, per usual comments are welcome.