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

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

Pastel Figure Drawings

This past Tuesday night, I had just gotten to Stu’s studio for the life drawing session when Rainy called. She was really upset because she was sure she hadn’t gotten the summer internship she had applied for. She was on her class field trip and some of her classmates had heard that they got the internship. Because Rainy hadn’t heard anything, she was sure that her news would be bad. This left her struggling with what the next steps in her college education would entail. She has the credits to graduate with a BA, but she needs the BS in order to work in wildlife research. We talked about her back-up plan of doing another Wildlands Study, this time in Ecuador. We also talked about what her steps would be after the summer program was complete. I am always wishing that there was something I could do to make everything perfect for Rainy, I just don’t have the magic to make this happen. We talked for quite a while, I think she felt better than when she called. I was subdued for most of the evening drawing session. I missed the first few gesture drawings, but did get to participate in the 2, 5-minute gestures. I did work in pastels again. I brought blending stumps and workable fixative with me as my intention was to take my time, work areas more slowly, and to fix as I went along.

My process evolved into starting the basic figure with a quick pencil sketch, just to lay out the figure on the page. To achieve correct proportions, I used my pencil as a sighting tool. This worked out quite well. Then I gradually worked in the pastels, smudging and blending gently with the stump. I did’t take the time to spray with the workable fixative as I worked, but just sprayed the drawing at the end of the 20 minute pose. This was because I didn’t want my movement to disrupt the other people that were drawing.

Model with Red HairMy second drawing of the night focused on the model’s torso. I can’t remember the model’s name. I drew on the back of the paper my first drawing was on (something I don’t usually do) because I was not pleased with the first drawing. This one is titled “Model with Red Hair”, and is 13″ x 20″. I like drawing a 3/4 view of the face, it is challenging but more interesting than a profile. I struggled a bit with her hair because I didn’t have the right colors of pastels to capture the reddish tone as I would have liked. Because this drawing was so much more successful than the first drawing, I was able to settle down into the process of drawing.

Relaxing with RobeThis next drawing is titled “Relaxing with Robe”, it is on 11″ x 14″ neutral toned Mi-Teintes paper. I didn’t have the best view of the model, but managed to shift my easel over just a little so that I could see just a bit of her breast and more of her face. Even though it doesn’t look much like the model, I did like the composition.

Resting in BlueThis third drawing is titled “Resting in Blue”, it is 11″ x 14″ on blue-toned Mi-Teintes paper. I really liked this pose as it challenged me to correctly interpret the foreshortened figure. Because I was working on blue paper, I chose to work in a variety of blue pastels. Once I was home, I added in the pastel beneath her midsection and her head as the drawing seemed to need that extra information.

Model with Green PillowMy final drawing of the night was my favorite one. It is titled “Model with Green Pillow”, it is 13″ x 20″, soft pastel on green-toned Mi-Teintes paper. I like the overall composition with the figure placed in the lower third of the picture plane. The green of the paper is a difficult one to work with, so I decided to not use a lot of greens in the figure, but to instead work with more yellow tones. I did incorporate the greens into her pillow and the sheet she is laying on. Once I got home, I thought the upper portion of the paper looked too empty, so I came in and blended some additional greens and yellows into the negative space.