Today I was the only person to show up for the Friday Sketching Group in Danville. It was a beautiful sunny day and I guess people were busy working in their gardens. I set up just off of the village green on Brainerd Street and enjoyed the shade of a nicely leafed-out tree to work under.
Every Wednesday all through the year the Danville Life Drawing Group meets for two hours to draw from the live nude model. This is a time-honored practice for artists to improve their drawing skills.
We are very fortunate to have several excellent professional models to work with considering the relatively remote rural area in which we work. This week we started with our usual series of five-minute poses and then went on to longer poses, some lasting up to 30 minutes. Again, this week I’m back to using my favorite medium, pastels.
Last Monday I drove down to the 1908 Farm off of Route 2 in Danville. I’ve passed by this farm probably hundreds of times and have wanted to do a sketch of it for as long as I can remember. Well, I finally did it. After parking the car on a cross road, I gathered my drawing materials and small collapsable stool and walked out into the open field to get a good view of the farm buildings and surrounding terrain. It was a beautiful Spring morning but VERY WINDY. Fortunately I had lots of bulldog clips to hold the pages of the sketchbook close to a supporting board.
Yesterday we started up the Danville Friday Sketching Group for the warm weather season. There were only four of us to start (the sun was out but it was still a bit cool) and we had a good time drawing different views of the buildings along the Danville Green. This view features several of the oldest buildings on the green. The drawing on the right, from 2016, shows the entrance to the brick house in the background.
For the last several weeks I have been using pen and ink with watercolor in the life drawing sessions. I have enjoyed practicing drawing the full figure smaller on 9″ x 12″ paper trying to work on proportion and gesture. But I felt the need to get back to using larger format paper (c. 18″ x 24″) and drawing more freely with bolder color using pastels. This is my favorite medium for life drawing. I used several different papers (as can be seen by the various textures) with quite different results. The first 4 short poses were done on plain smooth white paper just going for gesture and immediate response to the pose. The 3 longer poses (on textured papers) were done in about 25 to 30 minutes each.
Short poses (5 minutes each);
Longer (25 to 30 minutes each);
The weather has improved and I was itching to get out and draw something. I went outside and there it was! The Shadbush (sometimes called Serviceberry) in the back yard. With its early buds in shades of burnt orange and the sunbathed setting, I had to try to capture something of its dazzle. Whether it dazzles or not, here is my attempt…