Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Figure Drawing 9-25-07

The results of last night's figure drawing session are below. There are elements of each that I'm please with, and elements I of each I don't like. Ah well, it's why we practice.

I arrived at the session late (because I wasn't able to hop an early train out of the city), so this pose was already under way when I sat down. Normally, figure drawing sessions start with a couple of short (1 or 2 minute poses) so you can loosen up an toss lines down on the page to warm up a bit. I walked in on a 10 minute pose. You can see I was dissatisfied with the way the hand turned out. I started to rework it in the corner, but the timer went off.

A decision has been made—I'm going to own up to the flubs. When I started this pose, I'd determined I would jump in at the deep end (hands are always a challenge). This is as far as I got before it felt wrong, and I realized the scale was going to take me right off the edges of the page. One of the other artists in the group makes a ritual out of telling me I should work bigger (on bigger paper). This hand would have worked better on larger paper, and I might have persisted.

This is the same pose, and you can see which hand I started with (and didn't finish in this one). I'm quite pleased with his left arm and his right leg here, but the right arm and left leg got a little wonky. The proportions of the torso aren't too bad, but the actual shape is not quite right.

Look! He's got Abe Lincoln's chin! Argh!

The last sketch of the evening, and I let loose with the charcoal. It was a short pose—just 10 minutes—so I got messy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Only Three Photos

While in Conover, WI last week, I took only three photos, and they were all of this eagle. And they were all the same poor quality...sigh.

We were driving down the road when we saw him/her, and I had a bit of a jog back to take the pictures. He/she had found the perfect spot by a lake.

About two miles down the road we saw the other contender for our national bird. The turkey hopped out of the way of the car in the nick of time. I really think the founding fathers made the right choice because there really isn't a lot of meat on a Bald Eagle. Of course, I suppose they might have been farm raised if they'd become our traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

However, I think it would have been a tough sell to make the turkey seem noble and aloof.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sketches from Vacation and an Open Figure Drawing Class

I'm going to start by posting the sketches from vacation in Conover, WI so they will appear at the top of the post. The sketches from open figure drawing are probably not suitable for work or for children, so don't scroll to the end of the post if either applies.

In point of fact, I attended the figure drawing class on September 11th, and the Conover sketches were done on the 19th.

The Conover sketches were done in pencil, and the figure drawing sketches were done in charcoal.

From open figure drawing which is held on Tuesdays from 6-8:30 at Artworks in Kenosha, WI.

Our model's clavical did not look that strange, nor were his hands so strange. These are all things I must work on, I know.

The benefit of posing the sketches electronically is that I can selectively edit out the miserable failures that did happen during the session. The hands behind the head sketch was a second attempt at one pose. The flippy-toe foot was a third doodle. His toe really did flip up like that, and I just had to have it on paper.

Best of the Evening, but NSFW/C
Ok, I wimped out. Feel free to click on the link above to see my best drawing of the evening. Let me say it again, IT IS NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK OR CHILDREN.

The 3rd drawing was certainly my best of the evening. I was tapped out after doing it, and the light was wishy washy for the last pose (this would be the reason for the amorphous blob reference), so I ended up sketching one of the other artists.

Datebook Dump

And it still won't get us up-to-date.

The quote: "If you take the letters of the word 'coat' and rearrange them, and replace the 'c' with a 'g,' you get the word 'ogat.' If you rearrange that you get the word 'goat.' Amazing!" —Kevin Cornell (

The quote: "While the fates permit, live happily; life speeds on with hurried step, and with winged days the wheel of the headlong year is turned." —Seneca (5 BC - 65 AD)

The quote: "The world is not yet exhausted: let me see something tomorrow which I never saw before." —Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

I didn't do any of the things listed on the 19th. The concert turned into dinner because the weather was bad.

The quote: "Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art." —From Artist Descending a Staircase by Tom Stoppard

The quote: "Hold on cause the world will turn if you're ready or not." —K.T. Tunstall

There was far more going on than these pages would indicate. Really, there was.

The quote: "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered." —G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

I did make it to the Port Clinton Art Festival. I didn't do any drawing for the Sketchcrawl, but I gave myself credit for doing something "artsy."

The quote: "I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound—if I can remember any of the damn things." —Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)

Sorry, no time for quotes!

Still no time...

Finally found time for a bike ride and a BBQ! But not enough time to farm a quote.

The quote: "You're only given a little spark of madness. you mustn't lose it." —Robin Williams

No problemo, I think I have more than one little spark. ;-D

The quotes: "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society." —Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for—in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it." —Ellen Goodman

The quote: "Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort." —Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)

I believe I was feeling some relief and optimism at this point.

The quotes: "Let not the sands of time get in your lunch." —National Lampoon

"The whole life of man is but a point of time; let us enjoy it." —Plutarch (46-120 AD)

The poem: "To see a world in a Grain of Sand,/ And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,/ Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,/ And eternity in an hour." —William Blake (1757-1827)

There will be more datebook posts...have no fear. Isn't this enough for one post?!?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Long Time, No?

I have't any pictures to accompany this post, but I wanted to let those of you who have been tuning in know that I have taken up residence in Kenosha. Now I just have to convince the DMV of the same (and be assured, these days they are skeptical), and then I'll be all set.

Perhaps it would be easier to get rid of the car and not have to suffer the complexities of owning one. I won't launch into a lefty diatribe on the evils of fossil fuel consumption, etc. Instead I'll suggest that we, a nation, could make vast improvements in the quality of our lives if we merely gave a moment's attention to the way we utilize these machines of ease. Instead of making two trips uptown to run errands, make a list of your errands and do them in one trip. For those who scoff and say, "Who doesn't do this already—it's so obvious?!?" I would say, "Since you've conquered the first goal, your new goal is to look for alternate means of transportation to run those errands."

If you can't do without the car, is there someone in your neighborhood who needs to run similar errands? Could you carpool? Could you run their errand and save them a trip?

The bottom line: Maximize the benefits of putting your auto on the road.

My father learned to drive under the tenet "anticipate". Maybe we need to anticipate a bit forward in time.

A brief story and I'll rest my case. I was returning home from a bike ride along a main thoroughfair a couple of weeks ago when I saw a car pulled over to the side of the road and a woman walking away from the car. I slowed my bike and asked her if she needed help. She told me that she had lost her credit card out her car window as she was reading the number to someone over the cell phone. I believe she was the most chagrined that the wind had swept into her car window, catching her by surprise, and stealing the card from her hand.

I was chagrined that she was driving, talking on the cell phone and reading a credit card number all at the same time that she was sharing the road with me. I told her that if I saw it in the road I would ride it back to her. I hoped that she would think perhaps my life was of more value after I made the offer than she did before. I don't like people risking my life as a rule. Upon reflection, I don't think she would have made the cognitive leap. How many would?