New Collage Series

I haven’t posted any artwork in quite a while. This month I haven’t done much with my 6″ square collage a day work, instead I have focused all of my time and energy on this new collage series.

I began with drawings from my Tuesday night life drawing sessions. For these drawings I used oil pastel that is blended with Copal medium. Each drawing began at with a 20 minute pose. I focused on capturing the pose and the proportions of the figure without worrying at all about the background. Once home, I weeded out the less successful drawings and reworked the better ones, finishing the shading and the details. Then I cut the figure out. Working on 14″ x 20″ board, I placed the figure and began working on the collaged background.

10-21-12, “Slippery When Wet”, 20″ x 14″, mixed media on board

The first one I completed was “Slippery When Wet”. I began by collaging cut pieces of found and stained papers for the background. With this pose, the model had a cane in her hand that I didn’t really like, so I replaced it with the purse. The “Slippery When Wet” sign was a photo I had taken 7 years ago in Hawaii, I remembered that I had it and decided that it would work well amid the lush background of the collage. I added the cast shadow and the bird on her shoulder. With this first collage completed, I decided that I wanted to continue including a bird and a photograph in the next 2 collages.

10-25-12, “Remembering the Hills of Cerrillos”, 20″ x 14″, mixed media on board

For this second collage, I knew I wanted the figure to be gazing out a window. The photograph I selected for this was from a trip I took a few weeks ago to Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was taken while I was hiking in the Cerrillos Hills with my daughter, Rainy. To continue the theme of New Mexico, I included a beer glass from a photo I took at the Marble Brewery in downtown Santa fe and a plate of chilies. I added the drapery and, of course, a little bird perched on the window sill. I started to prefer this approach over the background of torn papers used in the first collage.

10-27-12, “Waiting For You”, 14″ x 20″, mixed media on board

This third collage was the last one made from drawings of this particular model. I wanted a boudoir effect, so I started with some scrap booking papers that I had gotten from Britta, a friend of Rainy’s. Again, I wanted a window. The photograph I selected was from one taken in Hawaii. I really liked the surreal look of the plants growing in the meadow. The 2 zebras were a recent find from an old National Geographic magazine and worked nicely to continue the other-world effect I was after. The lace across the top of the window was a last minute edition, but it carries the idea a step further. Of course there is a bird, this time a bit more subtle.

I am really enjoying this collage endeavor and think that each one is better than the next. I have three more oil pastel drawings from this past Tuesday night, this time the model is Eric. I hope to get started on this series this afternoon, though the Copal medium still needs to dry.

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Another Series of Figures in Watercolor

This past Tuesday night, I worked in watercolor at the life drawing session. I did get a bit frustrated as I attempted to work in bolder colors. What I have finally figured out is that a 20 minute pose just isn’t long enough for me as I work at building the layers and therefore the intensity of the colors. What I did figure out is that this week I am not going to work in watercolor, I think I will go back to pastels/charcoal and see what I can make happen.

9-11-12, “Jesse 1″, 12″ x 18”, watercolor

9-11-12, “Jesse 2″, 12″ x 18”, watercolor

9-11-12, “Jesse 3″, 12″ x 18”, watercolor

9-11-12, “Jesse 4″ 12″ x 18”, watercolor

The Figure in Watercolor

I struggle so much with watercolor, yet I like the media and really do want to get better with it. So I keep trying. Last Tuesday night, at my life drawing session, I worked in watercolor. I worked more spontaneously than I usually do, which I liked. My biggest problem was that I felt as if my values were too light; they lacked intensity. This is something that I need to work on. I will most likely take my watercolors with me tomorrow night, this time with a focus on developing intensity.

8-28-12, “Eric 1″, 11″x14”, watercolor on watercolor paper

8-28-12, “Eric 2″, 11″x14”, watercolor on watercolor paper

8-28-12, “Eric 3″, 11″x14”, watercolor on watercolor paper

Life Drawing

This past Tuesday evening I did go to my life drawing session. Craig was our model; he always takes the most unusual poses. These drawings represent three different 20-minute poses. I worked in graphite pencil in my 11″x14″ sketchbook. I have two more drawings that I started, but I want to come back in and add some more value to them before I post photos. I will try to finish those drawings today, since it is Saturday.

Life Drawing in Watercolor

This past Tuesday night, at my life drawing session, I decided that I was going to work in watercolor. I wanted to work more loosely than is typical for me. To make this happen, I did not sketch the pose in pencil first, instead I focused on painting the shadow/darker areas of her form. Because our model, Lisa, had short black hair, I also found it helpful to paint in the mass that was her hair. From there, I would add in the various values and tones to complete the figure. Each of the paintings was accomplished during the 20-minute pose.

Life Drawing

Last night was Life Drawing at Stu’s studio. We had a new model, Vanessa. She was a fairly young, thin, African American model with curly black hair that was hard to capture. It was very refreshing to have a model that was different from our norm.

I worked in my 11″ x 14″ sketchbook, with graphite pencil, and focused on achieving correct proportions first, then with the time remaining in each 20-minute pose, I added value. I was surprised that I was able to accomplish so much in a short pose. I finished the night with what I felt like were 4 decent drawings.

Vanessa Standing

“Vanessa Standing”, graphite pencil in sketchbook


Vanessa in Profile

“Vanessa in Profile”, graphite pencil in sketchbook


Vanessa Resting

“Vanessa Resting”, graphite pencil in sketchbook


Vanessa Sitting

“Vanessa Sitting”, graphite pencil in sketchbook

Life Drawing

This past Tuesday was another life drawing session at Stu’s studio. Because I did not want to continue working in soft pastels, I decided to simply use graphite pencil and draw in my 11″ x 14″ sketchbook. I am now on page 175 out of 185 in my sketchbook! This particular book is one I use only for figure drawing; it was begun in March of 2011 and I am about to have it filled up. This is quite a feat for me as I have many sketchbooks, for different purposes, but this is the closest I have come to actually filling every page in a single sketchbook!

Sketches of TeresaI decided to go back to basic drawing with graphite pencil in order to focus on both proportions and value. My first drawing of the night was the larger drawing seen on this sketchbook page. While I usually work my values gradually and gently,I began the night feeling a bit anxious and decided to try and loosen up with rougher marks. I also tried to delineate the figure with adding darker graphite marks in the negative space. For the second 20-minute pose, I decided to work on a portrait of Teresa in the open area of the page. Now I was able to relax and applied the values in a smoother mode. This page is a fairly accurate representation of Teresa.
Contour Line DrawingI was calm and relaxed as the night progressed. The contour line drawing of Teresa was begun with light pencil marks that were a bit rough. I was pleased with the contour that I drew, so I went back over and darkened the lines. This drawing might be a starting point for a painting or print in the future.
Hatching and Cross-HatchingMy last drawing of the night was this drawing of Teresa where I worked the values in hatched and cross-hatched lines. I can see this drawing as my next drypoint!
I do feel as if the night’s focus on proportion forced me to really look closely at the model. I think I will do something similar to this at the next life drawing session!