I decided to stay with using pencil and ballpoint pen for this week’s life drawing session. I prefer using color, especially with pastels, but I think using a stylus (pen or pencil) is more of a “drawing” discipline for me. I often depend on color to save a study with the pastels. Using a pen is much more revealing of the actual drawing (and any of it’s weaknesses)!
All three of these digital abstracts share the same “pastel” color palette. They are composed of multiple layers of color with some overlap and transparency. Another common attribute is the texture and colors of the background layers. The backgrounds were created with a “brush” that simulates the surface of canvas. They were created in Procreate app for iPad using an Apple pencil.
Over the last two weeks, since our life drawing group re-started, I have been drawing with pastels. It’s my favorite medium for figure drawing. For variety I worked this week with ballpoint pen. In addition, I tried adding color using wax pastels (like oil pastels) but their waxiness really didn’t work with the line drawing of the pen. Still, it was an interesting experiment and allowed me to try something different.
Weekly life drawing sessions are continuing in Danville, Vermont. Our two hour sessions usually consist of five or six 5-minute poses followed by several longer poses of ten to twenty-five minutes. We had ten artists working this week, a rather large group for us. Some were drawing with pencils and others with everything from water-soluble crayons to colored pencils and charcoals. My drawings were done in my usual medium, pastels. Our very experienced model provided some rather animated and challenging poses as well as more relaxed ones making for a varied session which energized everyone.
Here are my drawings in the order they were done.
Our local life drawing group has not met since last March because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I’m happy to report that yesterday we started our weekly drawing sessions again. Many of us have not done figure drawing from life for over a year and were worried that we might have lost the knack for doing it in all that time. Those fears seem to have been misplaced because everyone in the group came up with some good drawings and we had a very positive session.
We usually start with five minute drawings to warm up and to focus on capturing the gesture of the model’s pose. Then we do some longer poses of 20-25 minutes aiming for a more finished result.
Over a year ago, in the midst of rising anguish about Covid-19, I posted some humorous abstract faces to try to cheer things up a bit. That was in April of 2020.
Things are improving but we still have a ways to go so here are a few more that I just finished. My hope is that they will cheer up those still struggling with the pandemic and maybe, provide a sigh of relief for the rest of us who are fortunate to be past the worst of it.
They were created with Procreate app for iPad using an Apple pencil.
It’s been a year since I took the opportunity to do a watercolor sketch live and not from a photo. I tend to do these sketches while traveling away from home. Ellen and I just returned from celebrating her birthday in East Boothbay, Maine. We were there for only a few days but I was determined to do some sketching. The first sketch was done at Cozy Harbor on Southport Island near Boothbay Harbor. The fishing hut was just perfect for sketching and very picturesque with the yellow lobster traps on either side. It was a HOT day, around 90 degrees and I was in full sun so I worked rather quickly and didn’t realize that the sketch pad was on a slight angle. I kind of like the tilt. It’s like something Cézanne might do (only he would have done it on purpose)!
I did the second sketch later the same day from the porch of Five Gables Inn where we were staying in East Boothbay, ME. The house across the way, partially hidden with shrubbery and overlooking the inlet, caught my eye. It was much more comfortable drawing there. The porch was covered and I had a very convenient table available to put my paints, brushes and sketchbook on. I really liked the deep burgundy colored tree on the left behind the house. It made a nice contrast to the greens of the shrubbery and distant trees across the bay.
Both were drawn with two Micron pens (#3 and #5). Two brushes were used for the watercoloring, a 3/4 inch flat from American Journey and a #8 round DaVinci Casaneo. The sketches were done in an 8 1/4 inch square Hand Book Travelogue sketchbook.
Life is beginning to return to some version of “normal” in Vermont. The rate of Covid vaccinations is almost 80% of the state’s eligible population and cases are going down substantially. We just had several days of chilly and cloudy weather but today the sun is full and the temperature mild. All things considered, I’m happy and these decorative and bright abstractions seem to reflect that mood. I hope the outlook is also brightening wherever you are. Maybe these digital designs will help. They were created in Procreate app for iPad.
Here are some arrangements as triptychs.
Wild, untamed, undomesticated; those are synonyms for feral. “Untamed” splashes of color burst forth unexpectedly as I was putting these compositions together. Maybe it’s due to the arrival of spring or the easing of Covid restrictions locally. Whatever the reason, these bright colors seemed to be appropriate and using a black background helped to make them “pop”. As usual, these abstracts were created with Procreate app for ipad.
When I’m working on a new abstract design I usually combine layers of colors and shapes to make a coherent composition. I’ve done that with the three abstracts below but with a twist. Rather than “starting from scratch” and freshly creating each element, I did what collage artists do all the time; I digitally cut and pasted pieces of existing patterns to accomplish the task. Some of these disparate patterns came from existing textile and wallpaper designs. There are also digitally created textures that I fabricated some time ago. All of these bits and pieces found their way into these new digital collages, something borrowed to make something new.
The compositions were created in Procreate app for iPad using an Apple pencil. Some textures were created in iColorama app.