Saturday, March 27, 2010

Portrait sketch & drawing of my friend Adrian


I attended the Saturday morning drawing group and my friend AJ was modeling again. This time I feel I created a nice drawing that captures AJ's true likeness. It's never 100% exact but it's what I try to achieve with my drawing style.

I made a couple drawings and I picked these three to post. The drawing on the left took me about 40 minutes to create. Then I created the two quick sketches on the right, about 8-10 minutes each. I wish I had more time to complete these but I like them because you can see my method for drawing a portrait. I quickly sketch the light lines that are horizontal and vertical to help me align features of the face to slowly achieve the likeness I'm looking for.

You can also see circles or ovals, I use them as short cuts to add tone or highlights. I sketch the ovals to quickly block in areas of the portrait that change in gradation. The lamp that provides the light is coming from above so I may quickly sketch an oval on the highlighted area and not add any tone. On the side of the face and bottom, the tone is changing so I'll quickly add ovals with crosshatch lines as tone to block in those areas.

I also add ovals to create a surface plane, giving a feeling of depth. Notice ovals are different from top to bottom, I try to draw them in perspective.

I'm happy with these drawings, I had a good session. A lot of artist showed up, and the jukebox played good music: James Taylor, and Irish fiddle music, which always takes me back to the Pacific North West :).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Traditional Graphite Drawing of Young Woman

I attended the weekly Wednesday evening figure drawing session and again I produced some nice drawings. I definitely believe the environment has a lot to do with my success in creating these drawings, the sessions are held on the top floor of an old four story brick warehouse near downtown Toledo. The adventure begins when climbing a long stairwell to the top floor that seams to always leave me out of breath. It's impressive to enter a real aged artist studio with weathered wooden floors, several large hand printing presses, high ceilings, artwork and posters on the walls, it just feels like it's been there a long time. The figure drawing space is large and sectioned off by large plastic walls to contain the warmth from the heaters and has more artist stuff: old art frames, easels, large schoolhouse chalkboard, old furniture, good lighting, a large model stand, a good sound system and a large chubby cat! This creative environment sets the tone for creating good art, and last night there was a cool crowd of artists, a nice model, and of course, good music.

Here are two drawings I chose to post, the sketch on the right is a 5 minute pose and the drawing on the left is a 30 minute pose, and the center drawing is a closeup portrait of the left side drawing. The model did a great job holding her poses, and the music was nice: old church hymns for the 1st half and Tom Petty's greatest hits for the 2nd half!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Portrait Drawing Young African American Man

This portrait drawing is of my friend AJ. He's modeling at the Saturday portrait drawing session for a couple weeks. Drawing AJ's portrait has been difficult.

These two drawings I'm posting do look good but compared to the model there are subtleties that I missed. Drawing portraits are difficult and it's the main reason I attend these sessions--for the challenge, and for practice.

I have attended many portrait drawing sessions and I believe they have made me a more skilled artist. AJ will be back next Saturday, hopefully I can draw one that captures his true likeness.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Reclining Female Nude Figure drawing


WOW! I just returned from an awesome figure drawing session! I was definitely in the zone and created some really nice drawings. I don't know what it was about this drawing session; the good weather, or the nice music, or the fantastic model, or all three, but I felt focused and was having a good time. Plus they played nice Classical music and Irish music.

The session was started with several 5 minute poses, which were all wonderful poses, full of energy and emotion. The 5 minute poses really warmed me up and set my mind straight for the long poses. I was able to complete three drawings with the long pose and here is one of them. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I'm still feeling fired up :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Foreshortening Female Figure Drawing

Hi, here are two sample drawings from a figure drawing session I attended last night. It started with several 5 minute poses as warm-ups, then one long pose for the rest of the evening. Out of several drawings I created, I chose to post these two. The sample on the right was 5 minutes and the sample on the left was the long pose.

The long pose had a lot of foreshortening from where I was viewing it, so I found myself taking longer to complete this piece than usual. I've done plenty of drawings with foreshortening, I enjoy them and they are challenging. I learned a lot from this drawing, I made a lot of proportions and alignment measurements with my pencil and this was the result.

On the 5 min pose, as always it's not enough time! At the end of 5 minutes the timer chimes and I always curse it, saying to myself "just 5 more minutes". The drawing is always unfinished and well I admit that's good because it FORCES me away from the drawing giving it that fresh, quick, unfinished, in progress sketch look. It's love-hate for me when it comes to 5 minute poses.

Hope you like these two drawings, feel free to let me know what you think of them.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Kitchen Scene Still Life Drawing

Hi, when I'm not figure drawing or portrait drawing I'm home practicing in the kitchen with still life drawings. These are fun. I've done a lot of still life drawings. They have really helped my drawing skills. When I draw still lifes, I try not to create the scene. I like walking into the kitchen and look for nice natural set up of kitchen objects. I've tried setting up a kitchen still life scene and it often looks too obvious that I set it up, doesn't look natural. So I walk in the kitchen and search. When I find what I like, I might take out a few elements to make it simpler and then start drawing. These take me about an hour.

One thing I like about kitchens are tile counter tops. Tiles help give my drawing depth, a nice 3D effect.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bust Drawing - Guitar Player Man

Here's another drawing I created at The Toledo Portrait Artist Group, Saturday mornings 9am-12pm. They hire two models for 4 weekends giving the artists plenty of time to complete a painting. Next Saturday will be the model's last posing session. I'll miss the guitar player, he plays good James Taylor tunes.

When I attend portrait sessions, I enjoy creating drawings of the models. Some of the members use paint, some use charcoal, but I like using a sharp Ebony pencil and Strathmore drawing paper, I feel these two mediums help me develop better drawing skills quickly. Plus I like pencil and paper because I can set up fast, move around the model easily and I can often finish several pieces in one session.

I've really enjoyed drawing the guitar player. This Saturday I decided to sketch him from straight on and it was more difficult then I thought. It was a challenge to draw the hands, guitar and face proportionally on one page. I finished at the tail end of the session, with not enough time to start a new drawing so I sketched a quick profile of the model on the right side of this drawing.