Monday, December 28, 2009

Bronze: Day Six

Continued the shading on the bronze lady. Also went to the art store to get supplies for my drawing workshop that starts next Monday. Yikes.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bronze: Day Five

Decided to start on the shading of my lady on the image for a larger picture.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Laughing All the Way...

Of course its me, doing all the laughing, with Bill and a best friend from the Bay Area, Linda...all riding the Christmas Carousel in downtown Seattle on the coldest day of the year! What fun...can't you tell? Happy Holidays!

Bronze: Day Four

Here she is again. Didn't feel much like drawing today, but did a little work on her legs and the drapery of cloth around her hips and legs.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bronze: Day Three

Today I was planning on completely starting over on this drawing, but I decided to work on making her proportions more accurate, especially her legs--which looked stunted in yesterday's work.

And now I see that her neck is too long, but her face, turned up and away as it is with her head thrown back in that graceful arch...well it was just so difficult to capture, that I refused today to erase it and do it over. I spent about two hours yesterday trying to get the tilt of her head and face correct...laughing out loud some of the time at the seeming impossibility of drawing it...I think I got it a little right anyway....

So this afternoon I moved ahead and worked on lengthening her legs and redrawing the drape of her skirt. After I finish up with this drawing, I think I'll draw her again. She is a good model...never moves, never gets tired :-)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bronze: Day Two

OK. Well, she is improving in some ways, but getting more out of proportion in others. I think I'll make her taller even though her feet will be off the hard this lady is...Here is a pic of her actual self too so you can see why I am having so much trouble...other than simply lack of skill. :-)

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Good grief. I decided to draw 'from life' using this bronze cast I love. Holy mackerel. It was IM-possible. But a good exercise I suppose. Think I'll try it again from scratch today. I'll let you see the result.

Friday, December 11, 2009


This drawing came out a little better since I did the values work while he was sitting for me--in about 45 minutes.


My patient husband who never complains when I ask him to sit for me. A quick sketch, shaded in later without benefit of the model...thus just so so.


Another quick, twenty minute sketch, of Bill on the phone with his best friend. Couldn't get him to sit still for long on this one!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bill Sleeping

A quick thirty minute sketch of Bill taking a tiny nap.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Drawing from Live Model at Gage

My drawing of this model looks strange. I was in a panic the first hour of his pose and did essentially nothing, except hyperventilate. The last two hours I made some progress and ended with this drawing. If you put your finger over his head and face, the rest of him doesn't look so bad :-) It was my first attempt at a 'real live person' except for Bill. Wow, was it scary and very difficult.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Block In 15: Resting Man 4

I couldn't resist shading and turning the form just a little. But back to more block in tomorrow. Keeping my promise of doing ten Resting Man and ten Crouching Man before I go on to block another figure. I also need to draw from life more...Bill? I think so! My only willing and dependable model besides Lilly.

Pretty close on accuracy today. Only spent a half hour. I was just pooped out. Whatever will I do with a six hour class for five straight days in January? I need to do some weights to build up my arm or else I won't be able to draw at the easel for that long.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Block in 11: Cat 3

Lilly's easy to block in since from the back she's just a little black chunk of angles clearly outlined against anything light colored.. Hmmm. I need to remember that when I'm trying to do more complicated things....just look for the simple outline, lines and angles. (And of course, Lilly, when sleeping, moves hardly at all!)

Block In 10: Clothed Figure 2

A ten minute, quick block in of Bill while he was reading and petting Lilly (and stubbornly setting a ten minute time limit due to TV football kickoff!)

Block In 7: Crouching Man 1

As Juliette Aristides recommends in her book on classical atelier drawing, I am doing a line block in from a wonderful drawing of hers. The idea is to use as few lines and angles as possible to capture a likeness and the 'gesture' of the figure. I sure didn't accomplish the likeness and gesture here.

I traced her drawing first, and then laid that tracing over my finished drawing to see how accurate I was. I'd give my self a C- mostly for effort, not so much for result. It is difficult.

I'm going so far backward into the basics, I feel that soon I'll be drawing only straight lines side by side, lined up like little matches. But all this is supposed to make my painting (remember painting????) stronger. I hope as I work my way back from these basic steps I will see stronger work.

And remember, the intense five day workshop with Ms. Aristides is in January. So I am still in a state of panic.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Block In 6: Clothed Figure 1

Our good friend Herman who came for Friday night tacos last night...a twenty minute sketch/block in...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Block In 5: Entire Figure 2

Today's block in still looks 'sketchy' to me...not a work with strong, decisive or confident lines. Of course that could be because I don't feel strong, decisive or confident when doing the drawing :-) But I think it still looks stronger than yesterday's work.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Block In 3: Entire Figure 1

My first attempt ever at drawing a person from life. Well, my second attempt. I did draw a girl named Jamie in the 7th grade. I bet that drawing is still with Mama's things back in Oklahoma.

Darling Bill has agreed to sit for me for 30 minutes every day til the class in January. I have to confess I do think this looks a bit like him.

Block In 1 & 2: Cat 1 & 2

Blocking in: Using the least number of lines, straight lines, to simplify and capture the gesture and likeness of the subject.

If a few lines do not capture a likeness of the object, more lines will not help.

Promise 100: Orchids, Finished

Not much to say about this. It looks fairly nice in this pic, much worse in person. I am not happy with it at all. But it does end my 100 Promises which started as only 30 back in June, remember? Maybe there is some progress in here somewhere. But I am getting older fast and running out of time to ever hope to be really good. And that my dear friends, makes me sad.

I have registered for a life drawing workshop in January with Julliette Aristides at the Gage Academy in Seattle. From now til then I will be working on learning to block in figures and studying human anatomy (both from books and up close and personal, i.e poor Bill :-)....more to follow about that...

Promise 99: Succulent

Here's one of the two things I did while we were in La Jolla, early September. I took about five minutes, on purpose, to draw without thinking and just keep moving. I was sitting in the sun with a nice rum and coke. Seems like a long time ago, here in the gray days of fall in Seattle with Lilly meowing sadly in the other room, wanting my attention....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Promise 98: Single Orchid, 1

My first attempt at a single orchid blossom and all its details.

Promise 97: Larger Orchids, Study

So here's a larger version (about 8 x 10") of the tiny orchid sketch, and the work I've done on it over a few hours, just sort of playing around and not worrying too much. Next I'll trace it on tracing paper and copy it onto 'good' paper, then begin work on the drawing. But before that, I think I need to practice just on each individual orchid bloom, giving each one texture, depth, substance, form, shadows...or at least trying to...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Promise 96: Orchids, Finished

Am calling it quits on this tiny little drawing. I think I will try it again, a little larger and with something else of interest in the picture. I feel like I'm getting back in the swing of 'art' every day. Finally.

Promise 95: Orchids, Day 2

What started out to be a tiny thumbnail sketch has obsessively turned into a teeny tiny little full blown drawing. So now I'm doing miniatures? I kind of like it, except for the fact that it looks just like what it orchid standing up against a blank wall. Maybe a book beside or underneath it with a little bowl beside it, and some cloth draped around? Whaddaya think?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Promise 94: Orchids, Day 1

So I'm starting again after so many days off--days that have somehow turned into weeks. I won't let that happen's too hard to start again and get back into the routine of simply drawing everyday, no matter what.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Promise 93: Ten Apples, Day 16

Here's yesterday's ending sketch and above it is the finished drawing as of today.

Finished. At least I am finished working on this drawing. It's not the best drawing, but it's the best I could do at this point. I feel just 'okay' with it. Not great. But ok. The picture was taken with my iphone but it does represent the drawing fairly. Please feel free to critique!

Now I start on my work with an artist in Great Britain! Very exciting.

And special thanks, again :-) to both Karen Appleton--for her invaluable help and insight, and to Sadie Valeri--for taking the time to offer guidance and advice. Both of you are really appreciated by me!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Promise 91, 92, 92: Ten Apples, Days 13-15

Well well, things seem to be at least moving forward instead of backwards :-)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Promise 87, 88, 89, 90: Ten Apples, Days 9-12

I know, I know. I work sooooo slowly. But even though I am STILL on the same drawing, I learn something new every day. And I keep reminding myself, learning is what this time of sketching and drawing is all about.

So here's my progress for the last four times I've worked. I am so glad I take these pictures. It really helps me see my forwardly progress (as well as seeing my mistakes more clearly too!).

I'm off to draw an hour or so. I think I'll leave the front right apple for later and start on the bowl...what I've really been waiting for! I do hope I do it justice. It is such a beautiful and simple bowl with wonderful lines.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Promise 86: Ten Apples, Day 8

Got the background done today. At least the first pass at the background. I may darken all or parts of it later.

Promise 85: Ten Apples, Day 7

It's hard to see, but above is the initial line drawing from the traced copy of yesterday. I'm trying to go slow and be really careful and thoughtful.

Promise 84: Ten Apples, Day 6

OK. Now that I got the bowl and apples placed and I think I understand what I see before me, I am starting over on the 'real' apples drawing. Above is the trace I made of the practice sketch. I made corrections to the symmetry of the bowl so that it would have 'integrity,' a very, very helpful suggestion from Sadie Valeri. I'm excited. And scared.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Promise 83: Ten Apples, Day 5

Here's today's work, still on the practice sketch...I solved the over crowded apples-in-the-bowl situation by taking one apple out of the bowl. Maybe cheating a bit, but I think it looks better.

Promise 83: Ten Apples, Day 5

Sweet Bill gave me some much needed and very helpful feedback on the size of the bowl in yesterday's sketch. So I enlarged the bowl and then the apples which had begun to look more like plums, and here is the result.

Here's what's working pretty well for me on this one. I took the original line sketch that I liked (liked it a little anyway), took a picture of it, printed that picture out on the computer, and then sketched over it to correct mistakes and to practice. Above is the result. So it's sketched over a sketch that was printed in gray tones on the computer printer. But wow, is this practice helping me to get it right--well, better anyway.

Today or tomorrow, after some more corrections, I'll trace just the outlines to a fresh sheet of drawing paper and start adding values again. Amazing. This 'rehearsal' is helping with knowing how to do the real drawing. Guess that's why they call this kind of work a study. Duh :-)

Promise 82: Ten Apples, Day 4

I've started the whole drawing again because the apples in yesterday's sketch look too big for the small bowl...they looked more like oranges and even at that I'm not sure they would really fit into the bowl at that size. The relative sizes of the bowl and the apples was out of whack! I think today's work is much better, don't you?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Promise 81: Ten Apples, Day 3

Refined the drawing and started with shading. I'm never happy at this stage of any work. The challenge is to slow down and not rush it. I already rushed the drawing, so I really need to slow waaaaay down and breathe.

Promise 80: Ten Apples, Day 2

First try at blocking in the bowl and apples...yesterday.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Promise 79: Ten Apples, Day 1

Took me forever to set up a still life with ten apples and a bowl today! It's much easier just to copy someone else's wonderful composition! But it's time for something all my own and drawn from life, not a copy this time. So here is the tiny thumbnail. I'll block in the drawing tomorrow. Just taking a few days off this week seemed to make it harder to get back in the groove quickly.

We had a redecorate of our tv room this week. How fun, but lots of work! The furniture arrived last Monday so the rest of the week was spent getting the room organized and put together--then all day yesterday setting up the tv, sound system and Blu-ray. Good grief! Now the room is 95 percent done, all but the cleaning up and a few final details (just like a drawing :-), and cleaning can wait til after tomorrow for sure!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Promise 78: Cherries & Bowl, Day 6

Finished. Please let me know what you think. And thanks to Julian Merrow-Smith for the lovely painting from which I made this drawing.

Promise 77: Cherries & Bowl, Day 5

Here's Saturday's work...
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