The Sweet Spot

There was a time when I drew once a week. I’d come back from my weekly Life Drawing Session, rush to my scanner and upload everything to my blog.

Since being the owner of a sexy smartphone with permanent access to my Facebook and Instagram accounts, and basically drawing daily, the blog posts have become less and less.

However, I’ve been down in the dumps lately. I’ve been dependent on too many outside influences and have been negligent of my own feelings and goals. On top of that, I’ve lately spent a few hours raiding the last remnants of my previous 3 years of drawing and painting. I’ve done away with about 80% of that stuff now, but it left me feeling like the past three years hadn’t made much of a difference.

This feeling of frustration had been growing in me for some time and may have helped me to move to a different style which seems to be keeping me from being too tidy but also from being too sloppy. I actually think I may have reached a temporary sweet spot. I’m not sure if I want to stay in this very spot, but it’s allowing me to break out of my usual line making activity and I’m additionally no longer afraid of painting before drawing.

I look, I paint and then I hold a coloured pencil pretty firmly and draw very focused but fiercely, making unforgivable lines and curves.

I used it just now at Life Drawing and this is what came out.

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I Love to Draw

I hope you can tell that I love to draw.

Nevertheless, somethings haven’t been going well lately. The gesture practice is feeling like a chore. I’ve been experiencing a lot of laggardness, something has been dragging me down. But I haven’t given in completely to this wintery feeling.

I’ve added bananas and scratched alcohol from my diet (I wonder how long that will last). Things are looking rosy again … and so we come to the main object of this post …

Just returned from Life Drawing Evening Class. It’s so nice to go out of the house with an absolute minimum of tools on you, giving yourself the exercise to just “do with what you have on you”. Tonight those were:

  • my white Lamy Safari (F nib) fully loaded with black deAtramentis ink
  • an A5 Sillman&Birn Epsilon Series sketchbook (still not full)
  • a Tombow Fundenosuke twin tip pen (black tip empty)
  • a pink Faber Castell Polychromos

We had some lovely 5, 10 and 15 minute poses and I enjoyed myself thoroughly, getting lost in that drawing zone I cherish so much.

I tried that out last night too (i.e. finding the zone) (unsuccessfully, I must admit) and re-installed the sktchy app on my phone for the umpteenth time. This time, I concentrated on some of my favourite artists’ portraits and sketched on anything I could find, ranging from paper plates to paper bags.

(Before I leave you with the pictures of the last two nights, please note that you can leave a comment in this wordpress theme (Sketch) if you click the title of the post you’d like to comment on and scroll to the bottom of that post. You probably don’t want to, but just in case. Perhaps you have a tip or a question.)

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Pink about it

Not many drawings to show from tonight’s Life Drawing session.

Arriving at the drawing session, I had on me my Kuretake No.8 brush, 2 Faber Castell Polychromos pencils and a pre-painted spread of a A5 sketchbook.

I’d decided to switch tools to give me that little nudge to move from the comfort zone again. Still, I allowed myself access to the coloured pencils which I am very comfortable with … so comfortable that I need to consider leaving them at home in future.

We had a few 10 minute poses, a “draw from memory pose” and ended with a “please exaggerate a part of the model” (let’s see if you can tell which one goes with that last pose call).

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Not a very exciting result tonight, but very relaxing and not in the least disappointing, if I say so myself.

Vindictive and Very Vaccinated (VVV)

Well, … do I have to say it? Figure Drawing Night! I got there just in time, after nearly being run over by a car and having had my cholera, hepatitis A and rabies jabs for a business trip I may be going on.

So, with stiff shoulder(s) and mind whirling around what I would liked to have done to said motorist, I unpacked my prep-ed sketch book and with a few quotes and ideas in mind, I set to work.

“Eliminate cast shadows. […] You want to feel that you have touched the entire figure.” – Kimon Nicolaides

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You may be able to see something under the first coat of paint, it is a page from one of my wife’s mail order stores, covered with a diluted mix of acrylic paint and watercolour. I skated over it all with my nearly empty blue Tombow Calligraphy pen (it’s a lovely tool!) and then hacked away at layering shades of Faber Castell polychromos on the (far too smooth) surface.

I went home, quite cool and calm, knowing I had eliminated those blasted cast shadows and touched the entire figure.

Nude-less Nude Night (NlNN)

Just got back from … (you should know the rest by now) … Life Drawing Evening Class!

And … oh wonder of wonders … the model didn’t show up.
I mean … why go to Nude Classes and have no nude there?
I seriously considered taking my shirt off, but didn’t bother mentioning it.
(Thank the maker! I was embarassing enough tonight, without acting like the narcistic d**khead I obviously am.)

Still – even w/o me baring my chest – we had a very enjoyable evening drawing our mentor … who of course couldn’t come round and watch his fledglings’ attempts at sketching the human figure.

Three students were brave enough to climb the stage and stand their 15 minutes.

I had chosen the following weapons for tonight:

  • Lamy Safari “F” nib with Royal Blue ink
  • Seawhite of Brighton, A5 sketchbook (my “show-off” book)
  • preselection of Polychromos colour pencils (grey, 2 blues, red, magenta, green, flesh, pink)

And then the following pictures appeared one after another … any likeness with real living people is just coincidence.

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I had fun and I’m looking forward to this happening again soon … no nudes …

Lanzarote, February 2016

Or, “How much can you sketch in 1 week?”

I was on Lanzarote in Costa Teguise for 9 days and took along 4 sketch books.
I used 3.

  • 1 Hahnemühle DINA5 sketch book soft and rough paper (good for biros and colour pencils) 40 pages (10 sheets), I think it cost 1.99€
  • 1 Moleskine pocket size watercolour sketch book, 60 pages (12.99€)
  • 1 Moleskine DINA6 journal (cahier pocket), 96 pages (three for 6.90€)

I had a travelers’ pack of watercolours (12), a mixed hair paint brush, waterbrush, colour pencils, biro, Derwent Graphik Line Maker 0.1.

And I drew and drew and drew.