All of the drawings this week were done with NuPastels on 18″ x 24″ paper. We followed our usual format, starting with five minute poses mainly for gesture followed by longer poses. The more extended poses allow for more finished drawings.
These new digital abstractions were done in Procreate app for iPad. Using a brush called bonobo chalk, I’ve created images that have a diffused, spatter-like quality. One has a white background showing subtle overlapping color mixtures that are almost like miniature pointillist painting. The other two compositions have dark backgrounds that emphasize the intensity of the speckled colors. A technique that helped create them is to use a “brush” as an eraser. It can cut through or around dappled areas to create negative lines.
We had a new model today and she offered wonderful and challenging poses. As with last week’s drawings, I used mainly NuPastels adding to the backgrounds with Chunky Charcoals. Working with a new model, I was a bit hesitant but managed to get a few drawings that I felt good about.
This week we had a special treat. Our excellent model came to the drawing session with the most delightful butterfly wings on her back. She kept the wings on for several of the poses. It brought a bit of levity and a drawing challenge to the group. The wings were also a nice contrast to the more serious face mask she wore to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Well, it may not be “circular thinking” as such but at least thinking about circles. That seems to be what was on my mind while working on these abstractions. Circular shapes of various textures, colors and sizes are the subject matter of all three compositions. The backgrounds of all three have a stippled or textured quality giving a sense of “dry brush” or of being “rolled” on. All were created digitally with Procreate app for iPad using an Apple pencil.
This week I tried using mainly NuPastels with only occasional background work with the Chunky Charcoals. I’m trying to avoid too much buildup of chalk dust on the drawings. If I was able to use an easel as in the past, it would be less of a problem. In the present circumstances, I’m working on a tabletop, the drawing board leaning against a cardboard box at about a 25 to 30 degree angle as I work standing. The pastel residue accumulates on the surface of the drawing, sometimes smudging and contaminating the colors. Since the Chunky Charcoals leave more residue, I’m trying to minimize their use. The NuPastel colors I used are generally lighter and more “pastel”. They result in a slightly lighter and less dramatic composition. I will probably have to add more colors and darker values to my collection of NuPastels.
I continued to work with pastels this week, using Chunky Charcoals and NuPastels on 18″ x 24″ white paper. Our model was wearing a mask as were all of the artists since we were working indoors. I had to, again “fake” the faces or leave them out all together. Since my usual emphasis is on the torso, it didn’t make too much difference in my approach to the model.
This week I returned to using my trusty NuPastels and Chunky Charcoals. There were even a few strokes done with Conté Crayons on a couple of the drawings. It was good to use pencils and ballpoint pens recently to practice my line drawing but I really missed working with color.
With the resurgence of Covid via the Delta variant, our model wore a mask at this week’s session. I avoided drawing the mask by either not including the head or imagining her face as I remembered it from past sessions. In a couple of poses, her back was turned to me which eliminated the mask dilemma.
This week I stayed with ballpoint pen and mechanical pencil for the weekly life drawing session. We had a model that I haven’t drawn since October of 2019. It’s amazing how difficult it is for me to draw a new or infrequent model. I guess I form a specific approach to each model and it takes a while to get that visualization focused. In any case, the first drawings were harder to get going. As the session progressed, I felt more comfortable and I think the quality of the drawings improved. Having more time on the longer poses helped to get better results.
When I create a new abstract design in Procreate app, a title is automatically assigned if I don’t intentionally name it. That title is “Untitled Artwork” followed by a number. I have actually done several hundred works and I don’t know where the 47 and 48 come from but that’s what they were titled. I thought it would be fun to shorten them to “opus 47” and “opus 48”. Both were built up of many layers of lines, shapes and colors. Using transparency, I was able to mix areas of color in overlapping shapes to create variety. Ellen thinks they have a “spacey” look and they reminded her that the Perseid Meteor Shower is due to occur this week.