Figure & Portrait Drawing

Figure Drawing Dec 2022Practicing figure & portrait drawing or painting. Driving down to Coeur d’Alene ID to Terri Lee’s studio last night I experienced another evening with fellow artists, painting and drawing from a live model. This is actually an alternate definition of “Heaven” to any artist. Figure drawing always improves my art.

Our model normally does nude figure poses in multiple positions allowing quick impressions and sketches. This evening she remained clothed for three hours, taking the same pose each session for 20-minutes with breaks between. The increased time enables us to get up close and concentrate on her facial features. She is a young lean gymnastically active figure. Her features include dark hair, smooth soft pastel skin, and beautiful green eyes. We all loved her bright red Christmas turtleneck sweater and her charming personality. I look forward to figure-drawing with her again.

Since Terri is off taking care of sculpture work in Montana, you can see a cool video about his sculpture process here. It was an all-female group this time and some gorgeous work came out of this last winter session along with friendly chatter about the ways of life for an artist.

Onward

I will miss these Monday night drawing sessions so I plan on getting more involved so Terri doesn’t have to handle all of it. Having this kind of opportunity to meet others and improve is absolutely priceless. I love my artist dates hanging out with “birds of a feather” as I strive to improve my individual art skills by hanging out with people more talented than myself. It is so inspiring to talk and share secrets with like souls in this creative profession. Every time I make the effort to set up my supplies and drive down to Coeur d’Alene ID to make it to this my soul comes home with lasting a smile. It is an infusion of hope and inspiration with contact with other artists.

Life Drawing Session

model Ryanne 001

The Monday Night 3 hour Life Drawing Session was on the 13th over at Terry Lee’s studio in Coeur d’Alene ID. This model has great bone structure, deep skin tones, and marvelously shaped eyes and lips. She was a pleasure to draw and I look forward to painting her later in my studio later from pictures taken.

model Ryanne 003

Our model did a portrait pose for three hours which gives us a lot of time to work on getting a likeness. She did not actually sit in the same position for three hours straight. I think it was 30-minute sets with breaks so she could stretch and move around. Then she simply takes the same position after the break so we can continue where we left off.

model Ryanne 002

First, I did a pencil drawing and then a monochrome watercolor using Paynes Grey. I was not able to do anything stellar but am happy with the likeness achieved in pencil for the results of the evening. I gave the pencil sketch to the model at the end of the evening.

Terry Lee is discontinuing these artist get-togethers for the winter and plans to start them up again in April 2022 if enough of the artists commit to attending. I sure am going to miss this, there is nothing better than being able to get together with a group of other artists and work on improving your skills together.

Life Drawing in Summer

Life Drawing in summer is one of the best ways to work on those old drawing skills. Here are 2 of my attempts at portrait drawings (25-minute sessions) from this Monday night’s “life drawing” class. We did portraits of a beautiful high school volleyball player who sat real still, which makes the drawing or painting much easier on all of us.life drawing 2

When I started going in January 2021, I was terrible. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get a likeness of the model. Now, things are improving. It is amazing what a little practice can do.

figure drawing 1This class is an artist date night for me. I get to see fellow artists and visit with what is important to us. We are a fun group of artists and we have all become friends. We meet for a three-hour life drawing session with a live model every Monday evening at Terry Lee’s studio in Coeur d’Alene, ID. However thanks to good old COVID, attendance dropped, so we changed to 2 Mondays each month for the rest of the summer. You can contact Terry at the link above or me anytime if you’d like to come to join us. There is nothing more challenging to draw than the human form.

Drawing on Mondays

Drawing Figure 04/19/21

Drawing on Monday, from a live model is wonderful. During the past two weeks, our models were interesting and held quite still. Last week, the male model posed in different positions for 25-minute sets, and here is my best out of the group of pencil drawings created that evening.

It is amazing how challenging it is to draw a human figure. A slight change in angle or lighting makes the drawing totally different. I dearly love the time spent at Terry Lee’s studio in Coeur d’Alene ID. Talking with the other artists and seeing everyone’s work is a true inspiration. We have artists working in watercolor, oils, pencil, and acrylics. There is a collection of some really talented local artists. Sometimes, I feel like I have just finished doing a 5 mile run after three hours of intense drawing, but it improves my drawing every time.

Figure 04/26/21The next week we had a female model posing for portrait night. This is where we have the same pose for all three hours. The model takes a break after 25 minutes and then comes back to the same position again after the break, throughout the 3-hour session. Here is the best portrait rendered in charcoal, from a group of three drawings for the night.

It is amazing how challenging it is to draw a human figure. A slight change in angle or lighting makes the drawing totally different. I dearly love the time spent at Terry Lee’s studio in Coeur d’Alene ID. Talking with the other artists and seeing everyone’s work is a true inspiration. We have artists working in watercolor, oils, pencil, and acrylics. There is a collection of some really talented local artists. Sometimes, I feel like I have just finished doing a 5 mile run after three hours of intense drawing, but it improves my drawing every time.

Studying Figures

I began studying figures again this week. This is my first 7″ x 10″ watercolor on 140lb paper from this life-drawing class that started yesterday. I was worried but found that I am happy with the lighting in the rendering because it does appear like it was, on the model.

So, what is the news ? I attended a session on life drawing on Monday night. Wow, what a refreshing exercise that is for me. Drawing from a live human being really brings the drawing skills out to play.

The model can’t hold still forever, so you have to get those pencils to move fast enough to get the image down before the timer goes off. It feels a little stressed but so creative at the same time. I left feeling almost as if I had just had group art therapy and was ready to tackle the world. Well, at least tackle the art world anyhow. I had forgotten how much fun this is and how great it is to work on our skills with other artists.

Birds of a feather… really love to hang out together. There is absolutely no jealousy or negative criticism, just helpful suggestions. I love it. An artist needs time with birds of the same feather. When I surround myself with creatives just like me, I can verify that other artists have the same crazy logic as me. We look at where we want to draw from and analyze the lighting and positioning of the model. Then setup to try and get what we see down on our canvas or paper as fast as we can. We all like to dress comfortably. We have an abundance of pencils and lots of paintbrushes in our tool bags or boxes. It is a part of our art addiction.

Hopefully, this kind of study will improve my figurative renderings in the future.

Jazz Step 2

Jazz Step 2, I am now adding details to all of the center instruments. jazz 07The guitar is getting red and golden tones, the piano keys receive shadows to accentuate the twists and curves as they wrap themselves around the curve of the guitar.trumpet player detailsThings begin to take shape with the characters while adding trumpet player’s skin tones and instrument shades. Progress continues with the singer’s light washes showing the beginning of the skin tones and hair for her.

jazz 9The trumpet player is pretty much done awaiting only details. Now, the singer is getting washes that are bringing her skin areas into a three “D” realm. I really enjoy seeing this phase it is magical how things change from flat to rounded looking. Reminds me of Pinocchio coming to life.

jazz 10Music is such of a cooperative event. Adding bright oranges to the singers hair gives me a feeling of vibration and draws my eye up into the warm reds in the guitar. This is just what I wanted, when I envisioned the idea. I feel the music from this idea’s images. I want the movement and sounds of the different performers to be what is experienced from looking at this painting.

Jazz Music G1114 – A watercolor of jazz musicians jamming including piano, guitar, trumpet, saxaphone, and voice. This musical piece was entered in a show for the Spokane Watercolor Society Member Show, and did win a small prize.

Jazz G114 finished
15″w x 23″h watercolor on 140lb WC paper.

Portrait Lil’ Ben Redo 01

Portrait Lil’ Ben Redo 01, I am working on improving my craft specifically in the “realism” realm. Currently working with two grandkid images, this is Ben on the right. I am following Stan Miller’s suggestion to focus on up close views and get the realism down pat, instead of doing the whole body layout.Ben and cousin reflection Here we go again, and they say that the third time is a charm, right?  This little boy’s portrait that is reflected back in a mirror has been quite a challenge for me to complete to the level I am looking for on it.

portrait little Ben redoHere is the sketch laid out on the watercolor paper with “mastic” or “resist” applied to reserve the whitest areas. With the white areas protected I have an easier time treating the background with free wash layers without worry.

boy with reflection in mirrorMore background area is darkened with washes in blue and purple. Even though his reflection is going to carry the same skin tones, they will not be as light as the in-person skin tones appear.

closeup of face
skin tones

A close-up view of where I am adding skin tones and hair tones along with some of that sweater shading. The yellow that you see is mastic reserving the white areas for me to be able to work with later when I do the details.
the big reveal.

Next

Children’s Pencil Portrait

This children’s pencil portrait is complete showing personalities in a garden setting. Rendering in pencil is a favorite medium for me. Thank Goodness, artists are allowed to make adjustments to make the composition work better.

Jpeg
IS two young girls pencil portrait initial layout.

You can see that in the reference photograph with the two young ladies standing by a garden light post. The lamp light is positioned right between their heads which, interferes with seeing their faces clearly. Additionally, the reference photograph also has the girls standing on different ground levels. So, the layout is adjusted so that they are on the same ground level and the post is raised a little higher above their heads.

two young girls with lamppost pencil portrait
two girls pencil portrait

I work on the darkest details first and just keep adding shades till the portrait is complete.

children's portrait
Granddaughters of an author I have illustrated books for.