Sunday, January 30, 2011

Full Figure Portrait Drawing of Heather

Here's one of my drawings of Heather from yesterday's Al Hyter portrait session. This was Heather's last modeling session. A good crowd of artists showed up. Everyone produced nice pieces, and Bruce the organizer played some interesting folk music.

The portrait sessions are two hour, so the first hour I created a close up portrait of Heather. Then in the second hour I decided to created a full figure portrait. Here's where all the figure drawing sessions I've attended at Geiger Studios comes in handy: sketching this full figure with chair in 20 minutes came easy to me. I approached this drawing like I would a nude figure drawing. I started with a gesture drawing to make sure the figure would fit and that all main shapes were proportional, then I began to add detail and tone. Creating this piece was rewarding, it's a reminder that I have to keep attending these drawing session and draw daily on my own to improve my drawing skills. It's what it takes for me to become a better skilled artist.

I'm already looking forward to next Saturday's new model.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Figure Drawing of Seated Elderly Man

I had a great time figure drawing last night at Geiger Studios. I think it has to do with the good music Mr. Geiger played while we were drawing, The drawing sessions are three hours, so the first half of the session was classical music and then the last half was Simon and Garfunkel, which provided a good beat and drawing mood. I still have the Bridge Over Troubled Waters tune in the head.

Our model did a great job modeling. We went straight into a long pose, no short 5 minute gesture poses, just one pose for the whole three hours. Giving artists plenty of time to work on a piece and complete it. I stuck to 20-30 minutes per drawing. I don't like to work on a drawing more than that, so I moved around the model and made several drawings. Above are a few of the drawings I created.

One thing that made this drawing session interesting was that the model was placed on a really high platform, about 5 feet off the ground, so all the artists seated around the platform are looking up at the model. Notice I was able to draw the bottom of the chair. Putting the model up high gives the drawings a grand feeling, as if you're looking up at a building or a giant.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sketch Study of Fruit Pears

The local super markets, like Krogers or Andersons, have been carrying a lot of nice produce especially a nice selection of pears. Lately pears have caught my eye...they have a nice simple shape to draw and they have character.

I really enjoy drawing fruit, I find still life drawings of fruit can have advantages over drawing a portrait or a figure model. One advantage in drawing fruit is that it's more forgiving then drawing a portrait. I can get away with not drawing a pear exactly how it looks. Besides, a still life of fruit will not get tired nor move like models do.

A big advantage to drawing a still life is taking my time creating the piece, or take breaks and come back to the drawing later in the day or the next day, giving me plenty of time to complete a piece. Now I can't get too excited, since there is one disadvantage: fruit will decompose, so I can't take too long to begin or complete a piece.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Figure Drawing the Female Nude Back

This past Wednesday, I attended the open figure drawing session at Paul Geiger Studios in Toledo, Ohio. Paul had Andrea modeling, I like when Andrea models, she creates nice challenging poses and she always looks relaxed. I created a lot of nice pieces Wednesday night of Andrea, the one I share above was one of my favorites. I like it because the pose looks so simple but trust me, it had its challenges. Sometimes the simplest poses are the most difficult. This drawing is mostly of the model's back, an arm, hand, a little of her leg, foot and profile; it's a very simple pose. The challenge here was making this sketch work with just a few figure elements.

For me the secret to making this drawing successful was including the surface Andrea was sitting on. When Andrea took off her robe, she placed it on the raised platform to sit on. I'm glad she did this because it was like placing a picnic blanket down on the floor, it helped create depth and perspective. The blanket helped in making her look seated, a viewer could understand that her leg and foot was going away from us just beyond the edge of the blanket.

I remember thinking of moving to another chair when Andrea created this pose with her back to me. Sometimes I get caught up in thinking that figure drawing is always viewed from the front or side, and that the models back is too simple or boring or not challenging enough to draw, but I'm glad I stuck with this pose. I learned a lot from this one and the end result was rewarding.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Squash and Fruit Sketch

On these winter days when I'm not drawing portraits or nude figures, I find time at home to draw still lifes. Lately my still life subjects are fruit, squash, and vegetables and items that catch my attention in the kitchen. I like drawing fruits and favorite section of a supermarket like Krogers, Safeway, or Walmart is the produce department. It's exciting for me to see so many natural vibrant colors and beautiful shapes. It's kinda silly but I do spend some time in the produce section marveling at how amazing fruits and vegetable are: red apples, avocados, tomato, pears, pineapples, bananas, peppers, carrots, broccoli, etc...

Click on still life image to enlarge.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Profile Sketch of Heather

I attended the Saturday morning Al Hyter portrait drawing/painting session. It was the model's 2nd of four sessions, her name is Heather and she did a great job holding her pose and maintaining a smile which is not easy. I created several portrait drawings of Heather and the profile sketch I am posting here is the last one I created. I feel this is the best one of the batch; it has a nice loose sketch feel. I captured her character and out of the portrait drawings I created of Heather for the 2nd session, this is the drawing that is closest to her appearance.

Seems like my first drawing is always my warm-up drawing. I loosen up and get in my drawing mood. Usually my first drawing never looks as loose or as nice as my 2nd or 3rd drawing, but sometimes my 2nd or 3rd drawings don't come out well either. This is when I need to remember that I also draw to improve my drawing skills. I say this because it can be frustrating when that 1st and sometimes that 2nd drawing aren't looking good. I do believe that every drawing is a learning experience and always makes my drawing skills better for future drawings.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Foreshortening Female Figure Drawing

Hi. Last night I attended Paul Geigers Studios open figure drawing session in Toledo, Ohio. I had a great time! A great crowd showed up, I met cool new artists, and I produced some nice figure drawings.

Here are two pieces from last night. The small drawing on the left was from a series of 5-minute poses that started the session. The large drawing on the right was a 25 minute pose. It's a classic reclining figure drawing pose from models. I've sketched this pose many times and it never gets old. It feels like it never gets any easier to draw either.

A lot of foreshortening here. It's tricky from the start because the image is wider then it is tall--believe it or not. It's such an optical illusion. If you measure from the outer edge of her right hand to the outer edge of her left knee, that length is longer than from the top of her head to the bottom of her toe. it's so important to get these dimensions right for this figure drawing to work. Foreshortening is always a good challenge.

Last night's model was new at Geiger Studios but experienced from other drawing studios. Every pose she created was nice and did a great job holding still. Thanks, Paul, for finding good models, keeping the drawing space warm, and for the cheese, crackers, popcorn and wine at break time. I also enjoyed the classical music during the first half and Beach Boys music during the second half. That was an interesting music combo.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

3/4 Portrait Sketch of Young Women

Happy New Years! here's my first portrait drawing for 2011! I created it at the Saturday morning Al Hyter Portrait Drawing Group in Toledo Ohio. It was a good session, I had fun drawing the model, I liked the way her short hair style had a nice simple shape for sketching, I also really liked sketching her scarf, it added nice shapes to the drawing. I was also impressed with how still the model sat because it was so cold in the room, even my hands were stiff from the coldness. The model is scheduled for three more Saturdays so I'll be posting more portrait drawings of this model from different angels.

2011 is going to to be an awesome year! I'm planning on drawing and painting a lot!