June Sketches 03—

June 24, 2013

This was weird. The National Portrait Museum/American Art Museum has a Tuesday program where you can come in, they give you drawing supplies, and you can sketch from the plaster casts that they have— it’s a traditional learning technique. Recently they did an expansion of that program and had a live model. It’s the same deal as the Tuesday session, but apparently this was a “one off”. They might do again, but not a weekly thing as I hoped it would be. One interesting point is that because it’s in a public space, the model had to be clothed. I’ve mentioned my desire for that before, but I would have pushed it more and had her in classical  robes looking all Roman/Greek or something. Oh well, it’s a start.

I went back to the toned paper for these, and both are 30 minute sketches.

Sketch June_2013_10

No she’s not floating, I just chose not to include the stool she was sitting on.




Sketch June_2013_11\

June Sketches 02—

June 21, 2013

Sadly, I found out this model is moving to the west coast. That bites, I enjoy drawing her. She recently started running a lot and it was fun to see how her body changed with the added exercise. She was never out of shape, but her form changed, with areas tightening up, and gaining tone. Stinks she’s leaving.

5 min—
Sketch June_2013_03

Sketch June_2013_02

I tried something new this time around. I recently got back from Charlotte Heroescon and was doing marker sketches on white paper. I had been working on toned paper so much that I was having a hard time making things look right. It’s easy to get lazy, knowing that the mid tone of the paper will carry a lot of weight for you, where in these the white of the paper is your base, not just something you add in later. In some ways they look better, in other ways, there’s no where to hide when you mess up. I like the second one the best.

20 min—

Sketch June_2013_04

Sketch June_2013_05

30 min—

Sketch June_2013_06

June Sketches_01

June 17, 2013

June sketches are in…

Couple minutes–

Sketch June_2013_00 Sketch June_2013_01

10 min—

Sketch June_2013_07

20 min—

Sketch June_2013_08

This was a 30 min., but she didn’t hear the timer go off and went for another 15. I kept going when I should have stopped and packed up, so I ended up overworking the face- ugh.

Sketch June_2013_09

No, I’m kidding. I mentioned in a recent post how I was wishing there would be a drawing session with a clothed model, and how I was also tired of always having the same body type in the drawing sessions. As the title says “Ask and ye shall…”, well, you know how the saying actually goes.

I don’t know if the model canceled at the eleventh hour and the replacement was late to arrive (due to such short notice or what), but to fill in for the first 30 min or so, one of the regulars modeled for a bunch of 3 min poses. This was a fun challenge, but I’ll admit my vision of this scenario didn’t involve an ex-hippie that reeked of cigarettes. The poses were fun, but even a few feet away… what are those? Marlboros? Lucky Strikes? Virginia Slims, maybe? Mmmmmmm, makes me want a greasy pork sandwich, served in a dirty ash tray.

Sketch_Feb_p02_Drape_02 Sketch_Feb_p02_Drape_01Sketch_Feb_p02_Drape_03Sketch_Feb_p02_Drape_05

Once the model arrived we did a few 1 minute gesture poses as well. I thought the feet on the first one turned out well; those are for you, G.

Sketch_Feb_p02_2013_01 Sketch_Feb_p02_2013_02

Then a couple of 3 minute poses.


Usually we go from gestures, to the previous 2-3 minute poses, then into 20 min poses, but that night the group head decided to do shorter, 10 min poses mixed in with the 20. The 10 min. pose was just long enough to make you attempt a finished drawing, but in reality they were just a little too short to pull that off for me. I think they came out ok, but you can see they didn’t quite the level of completion they needed. This first one worked best, as I focused on just her upper body- mainly because there was a chair covering her lower half.

Sketch_Feb_02_CLR_10m_01 Sketch_Feb_02_CLR_10m_02

This back shot, like the bust above, was a little easier on time, fewer details so I could focus on shading and highlights rather than details normally found on the front.


But we did get a couple of 20 min poses, you can see, they’re just a little bit more refined, with extra shading, and highlights.

Sketch_Feb_02_20m_01 Sketch_Feb_02_20m_02

Sketch Dump- February

February 22, 2013

It’s that time again, when I parade out my lame attempts from figure drawing sessions that I attend. This month has been a little bit like a Hollywood version of a life drawing class in that all the models have been young, thin, and pretty… gets awfully dull. Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of the older guys in class, (weird, there seems to be three distinct ages- 65+ then a 20 year gap to the 40s, then another 20 year gap to the college kids- odd, eh?) so I don’t mind seeing pretty, young women in only what God sent them into the world with. Even then— lets mix it up a bit!

Below are a few of the recent efforts, all on colored paper, but I’m constantly trying to decide what I prefer to work in. I bounce between Creatacolors thick drawing leads (which have a nice range of graphite, charcoal, and chalk options) and the paper saturating Copic markers (which are intense, and visually pop off the page). The thing is, both give me the look I want, but in different ways— like two pianists, each can play the piece, but one strikes at the keys while the other taps them. So the question is, do I prefer the stark nature of the markers, or the gentle tones of the graphite/chalk? It may be a practical issue that decides things, as the markers don’t smear or wear off the pages of the sketchbook during transit, where the other does. I haven’t made up my mind, so if anyone has any specific thoughts go ahead and post them.

First up are some old images I found which I can’t remember if I posted or not. Since I’m lazy and don’t date things, I can’t tell when I did them; I know it hasn’t been too long since they’re near the end of the book. These do stand out, because it’s one of the rare times we draped the model. It’s always been a pet peeve of mine with drawing sessions, I know we need to understand the form to know how it will change the fall of cloth over the body, but you have to draw cloth sometimes to know what it does! Sure it has certain tendencies, bit rarely will a person take a pose, drop out of it, and then back into the same pose to have the folds of the cloth repeat the same position; it’s just not that consistent. Yes, the “pinch points” will be at the joints and edges, but how many folds, or how it creases, will change by how the position is set. Seeing that, studying it, is enormously beneficial, and why schools don’t work it into their programs is beyond me. In 99.9% of my career the figures have worn clothes. The .1% that didn’t— well, we won’t mention since it would hurt my political career. Seriously, I draw more jackets than nipples and more slacks than bare bums. Sorry— rant. So here are a couple that I found from that session involving drapery… they’re very “Clash of the Titans”.



So back to my original comment, that the models lately have all been in their mid twenties, in shape, and pretty. Nothing to complain about, but life drawing is meant to challenge you, and to force on to see, and draw, things in a different way, which can be hard when you find yourself repeating things. I mentioned in a previous post, there are not bad poses, so I’m not blaming the models, rather the mind set of classes. It’s a catch-22, you want people to attend,  to have sessions that appeal to people who aren’t professionals, but (sadly) it also appeals to middle aged men who want to see naked women. Lets be honest here- because I know one guy who only draws if the model is thin and pretty, for he seems to chat and eat a lot of snack food when it’s a guy, they’re older, or the model is on the heavy side. I admit, pretty girls in the nude… well, I’m a bloke, I’m pre-programmed that way; but I love a challenge. I like having to take what most people don’t find appealing and make it attractive, or to find the beauty where others miss it. I like the challenge of folds, wrinkles, man bits, etc… but, that’s not to say I want those all the time either. The thing is to mix it up, men, women, fat, thin, old, young, tall, short, apple, pear, pole- doesn’t matter, but lets represent!

Be that rant as it may, here are some nice drawings of young, thin, girls— who never seem to let their hair down. I will admit, though, I did like this girl’s braided hair.





Just in case anyone was wondering, here is a scan of from one of my books so you can get a sense of scale. I work on small pads, rather than the spiral bound billboards a lot of people bring in to draw on. Anyone who has seen my original comic work knows I draw on an 8.5×11 sheet of paper. I like that size, because it’s easier to see a page as a complete thing, and it keeps me from getting bogged down in too much detail. I was talking with another artist at the session and it dawned on me, it probably has something to do with the fact I grew up drawing on notebook paper (as most kids do), so I suppose there’s a bit of a comfort zone built in as well. You can see the spirals of the notebook at the top of this one, which I think is 5×7, or 7×5- depending on how you hold it. ;¬P



More to come next week- with less complaining, and more drawings.