Of Course! Two courses …

A weekend of traveling sketches and a Tuesday with ink!

The weekend was concentrated around 1, 2 and 3 point (can you believe it?) perspective. A “few” sketches of trees and that’s about it. The summer may offer more input, as I’ve asked to be notified when a group of sketchers gets out and about, drawing scenes around the town I live in.

The Tuesday (today) leads me into my weekly course of indulgence into ink again. The next Tuesdays will continue similar to this.

Paris, high ceilinged gallery/arcade, about 45 minutes, then a few in 5 minutes, with water and paintprush, after using fountain pen to draw these:


Trees and a bit of street scenery:

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Country side here in Germany:


Copies of some Masters, don’t ask me which:

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Some practicing of perspective:

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Now comes the Tuesday with ink.

Sepia, 1 hour:


And black Indian Ink, 5 minutes:


Jawlensky … a weekend

Just back from a weekend “painting” course in my local municipal art museum, where a handful of original Jawlensky portraits are currently being exhibited.

Jawlensky, abstract modernist, had a long productive period in which he developed a very abstract view of portraits. I will not even attempt to resemble any notion of understanding in any detail, anything about abstract paintings. But, standing there, in front of one of Jawlensky’s portraits (can’t find it on the Net, sorry) and analysing the colours and impressions our small group had, well …┬á that really opened my eyes for this one painting. Wow! I will never see it again with the naive eyes I approached it on Saturday.

Back at the workbench: Monotyping all Saturday, then Sunday began with first attempts at colour. Here the results.

These are my best monotyping examples. A geriatric lady, obviously on her way out, reminding me of the passing of time and the two extremes of childhood and old age … which in the end, perhaps do not seem so far apart.

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Next day (Sunday) the colours appeared.

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Then a few more monotypes and a final painting.


Lessons in Consolidation of Learning Process

Sitting down again after a few days of pencil abstinence, I appear to be having trouble consolidating my learnings. It becomes more obvious to me that the past was filled with drawing by feeling. This would often result in “good” results. At least enough to delight the casual viewer, and – I must admit – also myself. Isn’t it what I wanted, to delight the viewer, show off, receive “well-earned” praise. “Look what I can do.” Isn’t it why I’m writing this.

Possibly less and less the reason. But these are early days.

Back to my above mentioned experience. I now have discovered a book by Juliette Aristides “Lessons in Classical Drawing” (Atelier homepage) which teaches from the start to consider and be confident about every line you make. Also: learn from the masters, analyse their construction of the figure, their lines and composition. Also: I’m not learning or attempting to draw what I see with my eyes, but what I see with my emotions. This is what Mattesi and Nicolaides are both alluding to, but I believe it takes time to begin understanding how important this is for art and also for myself.

The new approach, more methodical and slow, is targeting the same result as Mattesi and Nicolaides want you to achieve. Nicolaides wants the pencil/charcoal/pen to fly over the page, attempting to catch the force/gesture/rhythm (later the mass/volume/weight) and Mattesi has a similar approach which accepts quick decisions for drawing in the important force lines of the figure. So the past few months, my line has been flowing and skidding over the page. I’ve been having a lot of fun and have been teaching myself to see and connect to the model with these exercises.

But now has come the point where I’d like to start putting some of the learnt sight into realer pictures. And I can tell it is a big step for me, in my head. Many of my sketches this morning were very disappointing to me until I took the speed from my process, took a deep breath and started analysing and working more methodically. (These are 15 minute sketches involving a HB pencil on 120g A4 smooth sketch paper.)

Here the first better sketches after slowing down a bit (apologies for the quality, silvery graphite on white paper is not a friend of scanners, as it seems):

For an hour or so, I was pretty frustrated and wondered whether this was really what I wanted to do for the next 20 or 30 years until my eyesight begins to fail. But writing this, I believe this is exactly what I need to learn. Recognize and appreciate the “beauty” even in the least obvious subject. And “Have an opinion” (if I may quote Mattesi).

This is a lady from a magazine I’d had a go at skething a few months ago. I was suprised about the consistency of lines I found when analysing the picture and marking it off in 2H pencil before going in to more details and then ending in a B pencil to create contrasts and focus points. I hope this explains a bit more what I was on to in this blog. The model herself creates an incredible sense of lasciviousness. I’m not sure if I caught it in the degree I was attempting, but it certainly isn’t bad. Hope someone likes it out there ­čÖé


I mustn’t forget it is too easy to give up.

And later in the evening, I found the time for 2 20 minute sessions of one minute gesture drawing. A small piece of soft compressed charcoal on smooth newsprint.
Here a the most promissing ones. Let’s look at these in 6 months again.