Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Oil Painting - Week 1

My at-home practice of what we'll work on in class this week and next. Looks easy. It isn't!

Cast Drawing - Week 1

The cast I am drawing and the first two starts at block ins.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Here's where the drawing of Randy is as of today. Lots more to do.


A lot has happened since I met with Juliette. I had a private lesson with Susan Bari Price and decided I wanted to spend even more time with her, so I signed up for her cast drawing class on Saturdays. I'm also am taking John Rizotto's oil painting class on Wednesdays--both classes at the Gage Academy. So my art plate is pretty full. At home I am still drawing Bill, practicing my cast drawing, practicing my oil painting, copying a master painting, and working more on the drawing of Randy that I started in Juliette's class. Feels good tho, and I do think I'm moving forward. I certainly can't complain about not knowing where the path in front of me is--Juliette helped me to outline the path and get moving on it. Hooray. What I have wanted for so long. Now my job is simply to stay on the path and keep moving....

Saturday, January 16, 2010


At the meeting with Juliette on Friday she said what I thought she might. That I should continue to draw from life, both short and long poses, draw from casts, and do master copies. Bill and I had a wonderful time with her and she was so very complimentary about my work. She gave us a tour of her atelier and gave me so many good ideas and help. She suggested that I ask Susan Bari Price to mentor and guide me along this journey. So, I have my first session with Susan on Monday at her studio in West Seattle!

I've also set up an area downstairs where I can draw Bill, who is so sweet to sit for me, both short poses and long poses. A long pose for us is two or three twenty minute sessions with a few minute break between each session. It's very difficult. Try it and see how hard it is! Short poses are five or ten minutes each.

The little drawing above is my start of a long pose drawing of Bill. I really like the pose and have taken a picture so that he can resume the pose next time.

This drawing is a copy I've done of Juliette's drawing of 'Sutherland.' It's still not quite finished and I failed to start properly, so I'm paying the price in unattractiveness (I printed out the contour of the original drawing on the computer printer and then did the shading and turning form on that piece of typing paper...I know I know, not very professional of me...)

More tomorrow or Monday. Company coming from out of town Monday after my lesson with Susan.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Life Figure Drawing: Day Four, Five

This is a my drawing as it was on Friday, the last day of class, with only some time spent on his leg and one arm. Now, here it is already almost a week after the end of the class! The last two days, like the first three days of class, simply flew by. On day four we again practiced gesture and fast but accurate short pose drawings...five minutes and ten minutes. Then in the afternoon we worked on our long poses. Day Five consisted of two long, three hour poses. One in the morning, one in the afternoon. At noon the other classes came to view our work and we went to see theirs. I heard several people ask with some astonishment in their voices, "You all have just been in this class for ONE week?" I thought we were great as a class! I wish it had been two weeks instead of only one, even though it was totally exhausting!

This is Juliette's drawing of Zoey during the class demonstration, vine charcoal on paper. Bill bought this beautiful drawing for me for my birthday! It is absolutely breathtaking. The picture above is before it was finished, during the demonstration.

This week I have been copying master works, namely one of Juliette's, the stretching man that I had been working on before the class. I have set up an easel and lighting in the tv room so I can draw Bill for short poses and multiple sessions of a long pose, maybe over a week. I think that what Juliette will tell me to do, when we meet on Friday, is to practice life drawing, both short and long poses, cast drawing, and copying masterworks. I'll let you know how that meeting goes.

And my oil painting class on Wednesday afternoons for 16 weeks starts next Wednesday!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Life Figure Drawing: Day Three

Today we spent the morning doing a reduction drawing where we first laid down a layer of charcoal dust on the paper, then drew our subject, wiped away the lights and darkened the darks. It was easier than drawing on white paper since the half tones were already there on the paper in the layer of charcoal. I drew the female model and was very proud of myself and the still-in-progress result.

For the afternoon we worked on our long pose. I was able to make some improvements in my drawing so that the model looks more 'manly' and not so squishy. Juliette commented on how he was improving and that my shadows were well done.

Then another beautiful demonstration by Juliette. A highlight of the day was a tour of her atelier and her own studio. Both brought me to tears. How exciting and what wonderful work was there...even by the first year students.

I've made an appointment with Juliette for next week to discuss my future study. I can hardly wait.

Life Figure Drawing: Day Two

I felt much better going into class this morning. Again we focused early on quick and fast gesture drawings of five minutes, then ten minutes, then a twenty minute pose... I was with the female model. We drew the heads, rib cages and pelvic areas as boxes in perspective, twisting and turning every which way. Then more focus on patterns occurring in our subjects and measuring, both hard for me to see.

In the afternoon we worked on our long pose drawing for the second time. I began to work on the inside of the drawing while modifying the contour. Not at all happy with my drawing...he lacks substance, vigor, character. He looks soft and mushy and fat. And the model is not any of those things. Not at all.

Juliette also did a couple more demos that were simply phenomenal. She is an extraordinary artist and teacher.

Life Figure Drawing: Day One

First day of the figuring drawing class with Juliette Aristides at the Gage Academy. Spent the first hour getting acquainted and familiar with our 'agenda' for the next five days. Then I did 9 five minute gesture drawings from the female model and two or three ten minute gesture drawings. More drawings that I do in a week! Fast, and hard.

In the afternoon we started our drawing of the five day long pose, mine with the male model. The focus was on carefully measuring, proportion, and accuracy in contour. I was totally exhausted by the end of the day. Juliette also did a couple of demonstrations for us. The day flew by. My mind was racing so fast that I slept even more poorly this night than the night before the class.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Winged Bronze: Day Two, Three

Here's the second and third day's work on the new drawing. I'm still not finished with the first bronze, but I wanted to practice the 'starting from scratch' process before MY CLASS starts tomorrow!

It's here. The life drawing class with Juliette Aristides at the Gage Academy. My first ever art class (since 8th grade anyway). It's all day for five days, so I think I'll be exhausted, and excited of course.

I'll try to post every day to show you what's happened. Think good things for me!

Winged Bronze: Day One

Drawing the initial block in and sketch is so uncomfortable for me that I have a very difficult time even putting pencil to paper. I know that only repetition of the process will make it easier. But it's hard to make myself do something so difficult over and over and over. It's not fun at all, but important I know.

This sketch was done in thirty minutes. I keep a timer to start and stop myself and keep myself moving and away from working on details. To my eye, the drawing has no strength or vigor. She looks so airy and flighty, like a little sprite or fairy, instead of the magnificent strong bronze statue that she is. I'll post her actual picture later.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Bronze: Progress Video

Here's a little video that I think is interesting to see how the bronze lady developed. I think I liked her skirt darker, now that I've made it lighter :-) but that can always be fixed. I'll go on and finish her before re-doing that fold of cloth again. Click on play and see what you think!

Or click HERE and select the full screen video for a better look!

Bronze: Day Seven, Eight

Here's my bronze lady as of yesterday. I am not happy with how dark the folds of cloth have become as I continue to work on the values. It seems that the folds of cloth below her knee are so dark that the area dominates the drawing. I think I'll re-do that part...

So here she is as of today after some rework and lightening of that fold below her knee (and some other areas of the cloth as well). I also worked on resolving the folds of the cloth that falls or stretches over her right thigh. It's amazingly difficult to work through a confusing area of light and dark to organize the forms and sort out the shapes and shadows.

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