Sunday, December 4, 2016

Danielle 12 Hours, Number 2

Lunchables, burritos and made sandwiches. 
Graphite and watercolor on paper. Next step, a layer of encaustic wax.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Danielle 12, Number 6

Juice containers. Graphite and watercolor on paper. Next step, a layer of encaustic wax.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Day Three, Drawing III

This charcoal drawing is Day Three from my New York Academy of Art drawing class with Michael Grimaldi. 

Good drawings take a long time and this one is finally coming along nicely. I think I have the arm worked out after trying all day to get the proportions correct. I did not take photos of this drawing until today because I was not confident that it would turn out right.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Standing Figure

My clay sculpture is day two and the final day from Bruce Gagnier's Master Class. The workshop was a great experience and helped me hammer down my anatomy skills. Gagnier is very knowledgeable and not very precious with his sculptures.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Tamie Beldue Master Class

This was the first drawing I did for the Tamie Beldue Master Class at the New York Academy of Art. Master Classes are when professional artists come by and teach a weekend workshop and it is a fine way for art students to gain a different perspective. I try to take advantage of the special classes when they are offered.

I started this drawing with charcoal powder and then worked out the elements in vine charcoal, an easy, flexible medium to work with. This drawing took about and hour and a half and is in the process of transition. The drawing is losing its linear elements in favor of more shape. Beldue made sure to make the process a challenge by adding the ever-changing robe to the model setup.

The overall thing I learned was how Beldue approaches drawing and technically how she gets a "complete" feeling to her drawings. Her process inspired and energized me to complete my own project that has been on hold for awhile.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

LCC Sun Drawing 07/16/16 - Jay

Jay 07/16/16 - Pose 01, 9"x 12", Watercolor on Paper
Heading from New York to Honolulu, I wanted to do more watercolor work. I was in a watercolor fit, working with my two favorite complementary color mixes -- purple and yellow. The dioxazine purple's exceptional depth creates pretty shadows and darkens the Naples opaque yellow in a nice way.

I was trying to make the contours work, making a strong silouhette. I made pools on the page which gives the edges a strong quality where the pigment collects. I was trying to use it carefully where it explains the form and lightens in the center.
Jay 07/16/16 - Pose 02, 9"x12", Watercolor on Paper

Monday, June 27, 2016

Uncle He-Man

I was with my Uncle Rick at an Oddfellows meeting and when I looked at him it occurred to me that I see the family resemblance, which I had never noticed before. I always considered my Uncle Rick the superhero of the family. In fact, when I was a kid I used to call him "Uncle He-Man" after my Masters of the Universe toy.

I sketched this with my new Japanese adjustable red-black ink pen. I use the red for the underdrawing to get the forms down and blocking out the shapes. The red also gives the reflected light in the shadows a warm glow.  It took me about 30 minutes to finish this sketch.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

American Museum of Natural History - Styracosaurus

I'm having so much fun doing these.

Having flashbacks of Smithsonian collection dinosaur models that I would feverishly horde.

The blue background is painted with an Azurite watercolor. There is a slight patterning to the surface that is fascinating me. Although its actually pretty mild.

This fossil within a foam or plaster mold. You can see it here at the museums official site.  So it made me wonder how to resolve the surrounding areas of the painting.

I like what I did although it leads me so question the white boarders of the page.  I actually am thinking of really defining the boarders so they look like a comic boarder.  Its a debating I'm activating thinking about currently.   I may have to try and experiment or two.

Friday, May 27, 2016

American Museum of Natural History - Stegosaurus

Stegosaurus, Watercolor on Paper, 9"x12"
So I realized something as I was doing copies of things at the MET. I could be doing the skeletons over at the American Museum of Natural History. The Next day I was there. Throughout the week I have been working on these watercolors.

Daniel Smith makes a line of watercolors that use semiprecious stones as pigments. I have been fascinated by them as they dry with an uneven/semi patterned finish to them.  So I have been slowly collecting and using various tubes of them. It kind of scratched that itch of a dorky kid who grew up with a rock collection.

The dark purple in this painting is an Amathyst pigment. I was surprised that when it dried it had a sparkly finish to it; like I sprinkled glitter on the painting as it was drying.  I was doing this with a two color complement in mind so the amethyst paint was in the entirety of the stegosaurus, almost all the yellows were darkened with the purple amethyst paint.

I was actually kind of horrified looking at it on my wall.  It looked really silly but as I looked at it a bit more it began to grow on me.  So I decided to do a few more in this purple/yellow method Making a series of sparkly dinosaurs.

I'm kind of on a roll with these paintings my end goal is to do 10 of these dinosaur watercolors before I head back to Hawaii for the summer.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Drawing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art -

2016-05-19 Apkallu, Ink on Paper, 9"x12"
 So the school's commencement ceremony is today, and I decided to spend the morning drawing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I wanted to do a couple copies of the relief sculptures in the Ancient Near Eastern Art section.

This is an Eagle-Headed Apkallu. I just spent a few minutes on wikipedia looking up information about them. They seem to be analogous to angels or demigods.

My interest in the relief was completely Aethetic. Despite the stylization of the figure: the very strong definition of the muscles and the rigid pose of the figure. There is a lot of movement and life in the figure.  Personally I think it has a lot to do with the repeated shapes and the organic lines that create the figure.  Spending the a few hours working on this has given me a lot of respect for the form creation.

There were also and number of details that just fascinated me.  The Apkallu has wristbands with what looks like wristwatches on them. The compass/sundial pattern mirrors some of the other patterns found throughout the relief.

I had to bolt out of the museum to get to the commencement ceremony for the class of 2016. It was a good trip to the MET.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Graphic Novels classwork - The Hunt

So this is a one page comic from a graphic novels class. This is my first experiment in taking something from drawing to completed page and I'm pretty happy with it.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Artistic Anatomy - Observation Drawings

Artistic Anatomy - Front View - 04-30-16,  9"x12", Ink on Paper

The New York Academy of Art offered an Artistic Anatomy class over the weekend. The class included drawing from actual cadavers at a medical school. There was a brief lecture by David Klass (His sculptures are amazing BTW.)

At the onset, I had these romantic ideas of Leonardo Da Vinci sneaking around the streets of Florence, risking imprisonment and punishment to dissect corpses in a Aristotelian pursuit of understanding human anatomy. Those notions were dramatically crushed by the brutal reality of the flayed lifeless body in front of me.

I managed to get a few really great drawings done.  A number of them were done from this corpse that was suspended so that is was standing. There were a number of other corpses that were open around the room.

On this post I have the more observational drawings. I also did a series of drawings that were more diagrams of the muscles structures.

Artistic Anatomy - Back View - 04-30-16,  9"x12", Ink on Paper

This was the first of the drawings I did at the lecture. There is not a lot of information from the back view. David explained that because the bodies are stored laying down, the backs of the body are severely damaged just by the storage.

Artistic Anatomy - Interior Arm - 04-30-16,  9"x 12", Ink on Paper

 I did a pair of drawings just exploring specific views of the bodies. There was some really fascinating things happening in the limbs.

This drawing is after another student moved the arm to reveal the intricate network of veins under the arm of the body.

Artistic Anatomy - Leg Interior - 04-30-16,  9"x 12", Ink on Paper

The transition from muscle to tendon was really neat to actually see. The body's tendons are often buried under other muscles and fat. To see them on display was really fascinating. The texture and color of the muscle visibly changes as it transforms into tendon.

I was kind of overwhelmed after this class. The chemical smell, the coldness of the room and the general brutality of it all eventually got to me. While this was an invaluable experience, it was also difficult and emotionally draining.

Tomorrow I will have the more diagram like drawings.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Man and Beasts - Bones

Camel Skull - 04/16/16, Ink on Paper, 9"x12"
Wade Schuman opened up his collection and there were 5 boxes of animal bones, taxidermy heads and other animal talismans. It was like an odd buffet of animal parts, visually interesting and fascinating.

I was kind of enthralled by the skulls and bones; and yes I sort of felt creepy writing that last sentence.

"What would you like from Texas?" my father asked me, while preparing for a conference.  I remembering pondering for a moment before asking my dad to bring home a cow skull. I guess I was a weird kid.

So working with two color ink,  Burnt Sienna and Cobalt Blue i began to draw the bones that caught my attention

Above is a Camel skull it was the first of these I did. I was kind of surprised how large it was, but then again Camels are very large animals. 

Moose Jaws - 04/16/16, Ink on Paper, 9"x12"
This was the second bone I drew, a moose Jaw.

I put the objects on the floor to give a more intense and shadow to the object. I think it adds a lot giving the form almost an outline. I also like how the edge of the paper crops the shadow.

The croping of the shadow is something i have been thinking about looking back on these drawings after the fact. The Camel skull drawing reads a complete study and object. where as the other two drawings feel a little disjointed because of the cropped shadow. I may have to play with this a little more in the future.

I remember debating how to much of a wash to cover the drawing with. 

Bison Bone - 04/16/16, Ink on Paper, 9"x12"
Above is a petrified Bison bone and the last drawing I did in the morning before heading for lunch.  The petrified bone was very textured and remarkably hefty. It did not feel delicate at least initially, It felt very sturdy especially in comparison to the other bones on the table.

Despite the petrified bone being very dark, I focused the wash nearly exclusively on the shadow of the bone. I was debating going back into it but decided that this drawing works.

I had a good morning.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Painting around the House

Staircase 03/03/16, watercolor on paper, 9"x12"
So the day before Tribeca Ball, the school is undergoing a radical transformation to get ready for the event and I want to be nowhere near the chaos. I have been wanting to do watercolors around the place I'm living. I am happy with how this came out.

I hope this will be one of a few of these I am able to complete.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Judy Fox Master Class

My clay sculpture of Jake. Master class with Judy Fox. Sculpting with a giant piece of wood and a butcher knife.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Man and Beasts - Lulu Reclining

Lulu Reclining, Ink on Paper, 9"x 12", 2016
I got to play with a kangaroo today! Even more fun we got to draw her.

This is Lulu.  She was pretty incredible to see so close.

She reminds me of a giant rabbit. (Isn't that the plot of a Looney Toons cartoon?) The same nose flares and sniffing that a rabbit would do, she did. There are also some structural things about her face that are very reminiscent of a hare.

Her handler let her out of her pen and she explored the room we were in. Almost like a dog exploring the world with her nose first.  But most memorable for me where her arms. Everything in the room she would grasp with her front arms and steer towards her nose. She also tried to eat everything in the room: from the gum stuck on the floor, to coffee cups and bagels.

A student told a story about Lulu eating her kneaded eraser then vomiting up and presenting it back to the student like a gift.

At one point Lulu bolted down the hallway. It was surprising to see how quick she could hop when motivated.  It was after that escape attempt that she was corralled back into her pen for the afternoon. Like the owl that also posed for us, Lulu was tired in the afternoon session making for a steady model.

Man and Beast - Sleeping Eagle Owl

Sleeping Eagle Owl, 9"x12", Ink on Paper, 2016
I had a blast at the Man and Beast class today.

This is an Eagle Owl. This Owl was a character, vocalizing with assorted hoots of all kinds. It also was huge. Its wing span was close to 5 feet. The two feathery "ears" give it such a distinct character.

I drew this in the afternoon, the owl had fallen asleep after an eventful and active morning of visitors streaming through the classroom.

I worked with my fountain pen doing sketches in the morning and in the afternoon switched to a collection of tombow pens and wash.

I love how this drawing came out. I am really working to work the balance between the colors. The black tombow ink is very powerful and controlling that color is really important to making these drawings work.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Figure Drawing 03/28/16- Naked Folk Dance

Figure Drawing 03/28/16 - Megan - Morning Pose,  Ink, Shellac and Oil Paint on Paper. 18"x 24"    
So I have been playing with sharpies and Shellac, then painting the surface. This Monday's figure drawing class was no different.

In the morning the model was Megan, who has become a regular model this semester. The morning pose was a long 2-hour pose. I spent half the time working on each figure. Going through yellow, green  and then a blue green sharpie.

I am finding the yellow sharpie electric on a white page. To the point it is difficult to look at. Works great with this process because the amber shellac leaves them as a delicate ghostly lines.

This was a standing pose where Megan was holding on to the model stand. I wanted to draw multiple figures and changes to the left hands to make them look more interesting. I had the El Greco hand gesture at one point but choose sometime a little more naturalistic.

When I was done I was originally planning to make  two overlapping figures. Until the model come by and said, "It's like a naked Folk Dance." A fact I did not see or plan for really until that moment. So instead of overlapping figures they became interacting figures.

I have been having a obsession with Gerhart Richter after seeing a few of his paintings at the High Museum. I used a painting trowel to make the background of this. I am happy with it although the purple may be a little dark. I may rework it with a white green scumble.

I am enjoying this process.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Man and Beasts 03/22/16 - Leaf Cutter Ants

Leaf Cutter Ants,  Ink On Paper, 9"x12",  2016
So today in the Man and Beasts class we had a lesson from Kate Javens on mounting insects.  Her passion for art making was palpable. 

It was kind of a interesting process. The act of piercing the bug with a needle was difficult. I did a Stag beetle.  Unfortunately the dampening process to make the movable makes them difficult to handle until they dry again so I could not draw the bug I mounted.

I did this drawing of a leaf cutter ant in the afternoon. I think I was able to get a motion from the insect.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Figure Drawing 03/18/16 - Luther

Luther 03/18/16 , Ink, Shellac and Oil Paint on Paper, 18"x24"
Working with this Sharpie, Shellac and Oil Paint process again.

The Friday figure session was a single long pose of Luther.

My red Sharpies died in this drawing. So was working with the green in places.

I really like a couple things about this painting. I like the contrast of the white of the page and the off white of the background and the table he was leaning against is really compelling to me.

I also really like the play between the yellow orange of the shellac and sharpie mixture and the purple of the shadows I used.

It is a simple painting, but I like it.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Anotomical Drawing #2 - Devin 03/16/16 - FINAL

Devin 03/17/2016,  20"x30", Graphite and Shellac on Paper, 2016

Day 4 and Final day of this drawing.

Devin was unable to come for the morning. Amaya did a lecture on toning paper with Shellac. there then was a period of drawing where I really was able to work on the background. Adding the details of the  heater and the other room details.

As I was working on the drawing the main parts that had to get punched up really started becoming obvious. I created a checklist for when Devin came in.

Job #1 was the feet. The lighting had changed over the week so they were brighter in this pose but I decided keep with my original thumbnail.  It actually took a while to draw them. The foreshortening of the right foot was a little maddening. 

Job 2 was the face and neck.  Devin has a lot of ornaments. I really wanted to get the details of them as done as a could. Glasses were already done. Nose ring and cowrie shell necklace check and check.

The final job was to really push the half tones of the drawing.

I am really happy with how this drawing came out. I'm looking forward to start next week's drawing.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Anatomy Drawing #3 - Devin Week 3 - 03/10/2016

Day 3 of the Drawing.

The model was late today and then there was a long demo. I was eager to start drawing.  

I took a photo of the background to work on the setting during the week. The shapes of the background are starting to crystallize. The are really useful in the drawing as the shadow of the heater is darker then anything else on the body. So it allows me to adjust his shadows against the shadow of the heater.

I had to buy another lead holder for 6H Lead. That is the hardest lead I could find in a lead holder format. I'm finding the lead holder is really dark for a 2H or maybe its just my heavy hand. That means im working on this drawing with 3 lead holders: The main one is the 2H lead (Blue), A 6b for the dark shadows (Yellow) and now a 6h (Red) for Half tones. It is allowing me to build a system for the rendering.

The Chalk is the highlights and then all the light parts of the body are rendered with 6h lead. In the shadows and turning (transition) I use the 2H pencil. Then Where i need the punch of a super dark i use the 6b. I am really happy to be building this system for myself it should make the future drawings for this class easier.

Amaya was showing me her work.  She doesn't fear the mixture of the white chalk and the graphite. She actually uses it for the turnings. I may try this in the next drawing. The model's complexion is not really conducive to this method of working. It was an insight. I have always been taught to avoid mixing graphite and chalk as the blue it creates is unpleasant. Its probably why I am so reticent to use chalk generally.

When I was starting off drawing. I used to have the bad habit of  using chalk to recover the white of the paper in intense drawings.  It took some convincing but I finally dropped using white chalk for that purpose, instead I would build line weight over time and it was not needed.

It is a natural adaptation to working a paper so much that you cannot erase the mark any more. It is actually a common stumbling block for heavy handed drawers like me. I actually have encountered others in drawing classes with this problem and it is something that you grow out of like I did. As you get more familiar with the materials and mark making this is less and less and less a problem.

So with that stumble I am a bit gun shy about white chalk. This will change.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Figure Drawing 2/29/16 - Experimenting

Mark 02/29/16, Mixed Media on Paper,  18" x 24". 

Figure drawing class today and I was fresh with the inspiration from Vincent Desidario  (I choose an image of his mountain of amazing work that utilizes this process) Working on the paper with a drawing material, shellac, the surface then building back into it with paint.

I have been using sharpies a lot for drawing, I bought a large colored sharpie pack from staples because they were on sale. There were some odd colors i thought I would never use until now. 

This piece was part of an afternoon pose. I drew the model three times rotating around the room to create this image. I liked how the layout of this page worked then shellacked the surface. The Sharpie began to run and smear, tinting the shellac with the sharpie ink. 

This made sense in hindsight. I remember doing craft projects with sharpies and using alcohol to turn them into a wash. Shellac is an insect excretion that is thinned with alcohol. I stumbled into this but I really like the result. I will try how a few other colors to see how they react with the shellac. 

The painting is working on many levels. I am liking the interaction with the drawing then the painting the toned shellac. 

Friday, March 4, 2016

View from a Starbucks 02/26/16

View from Starbucks on Walker and Avenue of the Americas, Ink on Paper, 9"x12", 2016
I was waiting for my class to start and had about an hour of time to do a sketch. So I drew this picture trying to get as much detail as quick as I could.

The store is Soho Pharmacy and is the nearest Pharmacy to the school, So it has become a regular stop for last minute office supplies, toothpaste and umbrellas. It's kind of expensive, but so is most everything in the city. 

I probably should work in a few more colors for these particular sketches of environments.

Anatomy Drawing 2015-02-25 - Lecture Sketch

Anatomy Drawing - Sketching During the Lecture 9"x12', Ink on Paper.
I think I'm getting sick. I can tell because 6 hours of drawing is not seeming as appealing as it normally is. I will power through it.

I did a great sketch during the demo today. Amaya was demoing building tones. I should have included the drawing.

I'm loving the Tombow Pens again. I think I will be using them for a stretch. I'm loving how I'm able to quickly capture a location with the pens. Not only creating a figure, but a setting and a room.   

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Anatomy Drawing #2 - Devin Week 2 - 02/25/2016

Melvin Day 2 of 4, 20"x30", Graphite and Shellac on Paper, 2016
Day 2 of the drawing.

Got a lot blocked in today. I worked on the model breaks to add the background of the drawing.  I think the semi organic shape of the cloth pinned in the background adds a lot to the drawing.  I really want to give more space for the model to exist in.

I worked today mainly on the half-tones of the drawing.  Half tones are all the areas of tone between the highlights and the shadow shapes. That is probably what I am going to be working on for the remaining 2 days.

I also added the highlights with white chalk to key the lightest light parts of the drawing.  This method of drawing operates on the fact that marks are relative to there surroundings. So having a representation of the lightest lights of the figure allows you to gauge them and adjust them slowly.

These classes zip by when im in them. I feel like the 6 hours of drawing evaporates like it was nothing. I'm sure that's not the case for the model.  

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Anatomy Drawing #2 - Devin Week 1 - 02/18/2016

Melvin Day 1 of 4, 20"x30", Graphite and Shellac on Paper, 2016  

We are starting a new pose this week in the Anatomical Drawing class.

I got new paper with a better tooth for this drawing and it made a very big difference

I also toned the paper with Shellac. I bought the Shellac for painting and Amaya said it may be too potent for drawings. As I began to draw with it, I instantly understood what she meant. In the shaded a part of the leg, the shellac is keeping the graphite from being easily accepted by the paper.

The Drawing process is very Bargue Method I did manage to get a lot done in this class period. I completed the contour drawing and began to block in the shadow shapes.

This drawing is going pretty well.   

Sketchbook 2/18/16 - Woman on the Bus

2016-02-18 - Bus Ride Home, 9"x12" Ink on Paper.
When your back is to the wall what else can you do but fall back on what you know?

I was out of ink in my fountain pen. My sketching has been furious in the past few days. I've been having to refill my fountain pen every couple days.

I was riding home and there was a woman on the bus that I wanted to sketch, there was something about her coat and her stance that I had to sketch.

But my poor planning almost stopped my creative desire. In addition to my fountain pen being out of ink my light brown Tombow was dead dry. I have been keeping my Tombow pens around for long periods of time after I should toss them because there is a line texture and almost dead pen gives a drawing that is really fun to play with. But when I wanted to sketch I had a completely dead pen. I adapted from my normal process and drew with the sepia. It's a little cold.

This drawing is done with sepia and black.

I have to be so sparing with the black because it is so powerful and intense.

"An artist is alone with the brush."
Maggie Murphy

Friday, January 22, 2016

Forensic Sculpture - Day 5

Final Sculpture

After talking to some of my friends about this. I may have made her older then I should.

My effort today was to de-age her today so that she fits comfortably in the 30-50 year age range.

It was actually funny how I had to go about it. There were a number of things I had to do.

Day 4 
The obvious areas of this sculpture that are making it look older are the bags under the eyes, the prominent laugh lines, and the bushy eyebrows.  There are also some other more subtle areas that I can add clay to to make it appear fuller.

A classmate got into a discussion about a conversation with her dermatologist about injecting fat into her face to make her look younger. There were areas of the face, that if filled out, make the person look younger. I was concerned with making her look petite, but it ended up making her look wiry. 

So I had to do some plastic.... No, plastacine surgery. 

Day 5
So this is the sculpture after adding more clay to the eyes and lips. One comment was she looks like the daughter of my original sculpture, so she is comfortably in the the 30-50 range.

This was an awesome experience and class. I would do this again in a heartbeat. I was amazed by how quickly the time flew by. We were sculpturing for 6 hours a day and the time just flew by. I am really happy with the final sculpture and hope that it helps identify this missing person.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Forensic Sculpture - Day 4

End of Day 4
Today we added lips, eyebrows and hair.

Magic day is right. It is really coming together.

This course seems like the corollary to the artistic theory for the New York Academy of Art.  We learn anatomy and the body structure so that we can make more striking figures. So when we look at a human model or a photograph we can infer the anatomy to define the forms. In this class we are given the structure (the skull)  and then asked to create the portrait from that information.

There is not a lot of information about the lips recorded in the skull. There is an average correlation between lip size and enamel size and you can get the general width from the eye placement.  I made them subtle, as a lot of lip definition is from a color change not necessarily a form change.

So the physical remains were specific about a hair length. It also specified a style-- hair in a scrunchie. I quickly blocked it in and made the general shapes.

Joe recommend that we text the photo of the skull to people and ask for the age, gender and race of the subject to see if our sculpture is in the ball park.