Quick Draw

Studying at Lunch
Ball Point Pen on Paper, 8.5×5″


I did this very quick drawing of a young man studying over his lunch while I was grabbing lunch between classes. There are a lot of likely subjects during lunch time. It’s all grist for my mill. It’s amazing how picky I can be over the kind of ball point pen I use. I don’t like roller ball pens with gel inks. They are just a little too fast. It seems some light resistance make for a better feel.

Some pens have excess ink gather around the tip. That makes for a messy looking drawing. I think the cheap stick pens are the best for me. I have more control over the heaviness of the line. It’s all about personal preferences and the preferences are about very subtle differences.

T F m
November 24, 2011

Red Shoes

Ruby Slippers
Oil on Linen Panel, 20×16

This is the third painting I have done of this woman. She is one of those little gals and presents the same problems that I mentioned in the previous post. She is a challenge to anyone trying to  capture her likeness. She has very refined, small features which for my geeza (old) eyes are difficult to see. It seems the third time is the charm.
She wore very red, sequined shoes and a single satin, burgundy red glove for the occasion.  Hence the painting’s title. I don’t know if she was thinking of Michael Jackson when she selected these props or not. But I think the bizarre combination makes for an apt comparison.
It was amazing how much red was reflected from those shoes. You can see it in the tones under her left thigh, on her abdomen and under her chin. I think the shoe sitting right at the edge of the canvas gives a kind of cartoonish feel in keeping with the Michael Jackson reference.

T F m
November 19, 2011

Skills Maintenance

Getting A Haircut
Ballpoint Pen on Paper, 8.5×5″
This is my 96-year old mother enveloped by the hair cutter’s cape. I am my mother’s chief go-for.  I am her willing chauffeur, shopper, and errand runner. I am happy to do these things for her. She did so much for me, I can do her these favors in return. She wanted to have her haircut on this occasion so, I was happy to take her. She was fairly easy to sketch as she had to remain still while the very expert beautician did her well choreographed hair cutting and styling dance.
A side benefit is that I can do a quick sketch of her while she gets gorgeously coiffed. I take advantage of such situations whenever I can. It is always a good way for me to maintain my skills. I have made it a habit for many years to have a sketch book tucked into my handbag for just such moments. Whenever I have the opportunity, I just take out my sketch book and draw. It’s how I learned to draw, how I learned to draw better, and how I maintain my drawing skills. It’s just good practice.
Drawing is a skill which must be practiced like any other skill. Musicians practice their instruments. Athletes practice their sports. And visual artists practice their media. Mine happen to be drawing and painting. I’m not looking for perfect. I really don’t know what that is. Better is a much more realistic expectation.

T F m
November 15, 2011

Ongoing No Hovering

Classroom Activity
Ball Point Pen on Paper, 8.5×5″

This was done last Wednesday during my afternoon basic drawing class.  My class is in the midst of a three part drawing project. I make rounds at regular intervals to check on their progress but, I don’t want to hover. So while they are working towards its conclusion, I have to keep myself busy. I’ll check e-mail. Look to see what the news headlines are, or draw. Drawing is the best no hovering activity. Here is the result. These are two of my students working away at their drawing while I draw them.

T F m
November 13, 2011

Drawing Outside the Drawing Studio

Drawing with Students
Ball Point Pen on Paper, 8.8×5.5″

This is from last spring’s life drawing class. Our model is on the right and the woman on left is one of my students. One can draw from the nude model consistently but it is difficult to take nude figure drawings out of the realm of study. The history of study is just too long and so thoroughly explored.

Eventually one must think about the figure outside the drawing studio and begin to consider the clothed figure. After all, in most situations, you are not just going to happen to come across someone who happens to be naked away from home. So the object of doing this was to begin to draw the clothed model and the context in which model and the people around her interact. 

It was also an exercise in drawing quickly as the people around the model were to be included as well. Context can tell a great deal about the person or persons depicted

T F m
November 11, 2011

The Problem With Little Gals

Dainty Woman
Oil on Linen Panel, 16×20″
This lovely young woman posed a real challenge to my observational skills. It seems dainty, willowy women are the most difficult to capture. Abundant women, like this woman, are no problem for me, but the little gals are difficult. I struggled under what I perceived to be time constraints, though, the time allotted was exactly as it usually is. I was very happy just to have been able to work up the facial features. So some other things are not quite right.

There is a lot right about this painting. I am satisfied with the knees, her right arm, her likeness, and  her skin tone. The patterns are fine too. A problem area is the upper body which needs refining. Another problem is her left arm. The contour is too rigidly straight and looks a little stiff. I may be able to address that. I usually do not go back into a figure painting without having the model present. I could really make a mess of it if my memory and my color mixing are not spot on.

T F m
November 5, 2011

From My Sketch Book

Ball Point Pen on Paper, 8.5×5.5″


This sketch is in no way a likeness. But I think it captures the serenity of sleep which, to quote William S., knits up the raveled sleeve of care. This sleeper is my son’s sweetheart. She is a lovely woman inwardly as outwardly. She is the lady who brought Winston, her bull dog, into our lives. He is a dog as serene as his mistress. If you follow the link you will see my sketch of him.

T F m
November 2, 2011