Sunday, November 8, 2009

Life Drawing 2009

Here's a few current drawings from class...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

From Memory

I got a little cocky and waited too long on this, I saw these people on the train two weeks ago now. Still a lot of the things I wanted to draw are there. Finally got around to drawing it this morning...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Sargent Knockoff -Helen Dunham

When first getting seriously back into oil painting about 6 or 7 years ago, I decided to start by diving in the deep end of the pool and "reverse engineer" a number of paintings by accomplished artists of the past. This, one of my favorite John Singer Sargent paintings of Helen Dunham, is probably the most successful. Done to scale from a meticulously studied drawing, it took me a looonng time to do. And the punchline of course is, I didn't miraculously turn into Sargent upon completing it. But I did learn a lot.
I still like this and it hangs in my house, but it needs to be restretched and given a nice frame...

Monday, October 12, 2009

From Memory

Finally back to life drawing after years. I've been painting from life, but drawing by itself is a completely different experience. Feels great to be shaking off the rust, and I'll be posting the best of the lot in the future. In the meantime, here's another exercise I've been engaging in. After having gone through the little gym visit of a life drawing class, I try to draw something I've seen and studied over the course of the evening from memory. It's an interesting exercise and I heartily recommend trying it. Also doing it in Photoshop is the ideal way of doing it, because you can hash out the details in what is a continuous redrawing process in pursuit of something not immediately clear to you-it has to be found. When you finish the drawing, and what you have really looks like what you had in your head, it's an eerie, satisfying experience.

Here are the first couple I've done:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Skull Study in Pastel

Another skull study from my resin cast skull, done in pastel on masonite, a few years ago...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Hunter: The Darwin Cooke "Draw Parker" Contest!

Many people probably already know Darwyn Cooke, but just in case -he's an award winning artist famous for working on the Warner Bros animated cartoons (Batman/Superman), and for his stylish, comics and graphic novels for DC. Anyway, he has completed an illustrated version of Richard Stark aka Donald Westlake's The Hunter which features Stark's brutal, single minded criminal -Parker. As a fun promo he and Calum Johnston who runs his blog, had a "Draw Parker" contest . You can checkout the winners and other entries of that contest on this page:

This is my entry - I tried to make it look a bit like paperback illustrator Robert Maguire, who did a ton of terrific covers over the course of his career.

And nobody came away from the contest empty handed -how cool is that?! Looking forward to forward to my copy of the book...!

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Couple of Still Lifes

I haven't posted for a few on this blog, so I'll post these - a couple still lifes done in oil on board around this time last year. I like painting still life subjects, I find them very relaxing to do. Obviously the subjects don't move, so the only problem you have to deal with is changing light. The idea for these was to juxtapose slightly incongruous objects. The one with the Mad Ball I still have hanging in my studio. They're all "8"x"10"on gessoed cardboard.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Audrey Hepburn in a Sketchbook

A drawing I did in another one of my unloved sketchbooks. Graphite and white Prismacolor on toned paper.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Take 3

Closer to what I had in mind in the first place...

Take 2

A slight variation...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Drawing Board Jam-Yoga Poses

The first rendering is something I did for an ancient jam over at the Drawing Board. Old for them-new for me. It's a yoga pose but I have turned it sideways. Yoga poses are interesting to draw because of the extreme tension and flexion of the form, and as seen in earlier posts I like to tackle poses like these often. On a related note, the second, is a drawing from the as of yet unfinished ballpoint pen sketch book that was complicated but fun to do.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Barron Storey's Journals Exhibited At the Society of Illustrators Till the End of July

Do yourself a favor if you are in the New York area and go see the exhibit of illustrator Barron Storey's journals at the Society of Illustrators in Manhattan. There are 150 of these intensely detailed journals and they just might rock your perception of what it means to create art . I made it a point to go through all the journals and feel well rewarded for my effort. Go see, go see!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

More From My Back Pages

Since in my current line of work I'm obliged to draw everyday people most of the time, I've clocked in time practicing drawing them from magazines and stock books. Here's a couple of old pages I thought were something like fun, with a lot of Liliputians in suits...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My Nostalgia Files: Shoes and Skulls

As I mentioned earlier, I had a hard time finishing a sketchbook, so the solution was to just sketch on xerox paper and put it in a looseleaf binder. Instant sketchbook! That also made it easier to deep six drawings that truly stunk.With a bound sketchbook you're either stuck with them or you have to figure out how to obscure or enhance them in some fashion. Granted this approach doesn't produce an object with the talismanic energy a real sketchbook has, but it seemed as close as I could get at the time.

About 15 years ago, I went through another intensive drawing period where I was convinced that the obsessive drawing of objects would permanently imbed them in my brain. It turns out to not really work like that (you still have to deliberately create a codified representation of the object for yourself), but it did improve my capacity for accurate drawing from life.

Included here is a group of obsessive shoe studies, and likewise of a nice resin cast skull my wife got me for my birthday from the bone specimen shop -Maxilla and Mandible in Manhattan.

Here's the Shoes...

And Here's the Skulls...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Project Sketches 9 Last One

One of my  favorite drawings from that period. Her wrapped foot, the plaid footstool and her face obscured by her arm hanging on to the pole, add a slightly surreal energy to the drawing. 
That's all for now!

Project Sketches 8

A couple of horizontal efforts...

Project Sketches 7

Project Sketches 6

Project Sketches 5

Most of what I've uploaded is the 20 minute or 30 minute poses. Here are a few 10 minute poses.

Project Sketches 4

Project Sketches 3

Project Sketches 2

My Nostalgia Files: The Project For Living Artists

I was just rummaging through the files of an almost full external drive looking for stuff to put on disk, when I came across these archived photos of my sketches from when I went to class at The Project For Living Artists down on Greene Street, now many years ago. I was turned on to this class by some longtime illustrator buddies, who went there on a regular basis, and I continued to go for quite a while on my own after they had moved on.  It was a large classic Soho bohemian basement space,and the classes were run by this guy Joe who had two cats that roamed the class. The models were almost always good, and the location for me in terms of commuting was perfect. Joe now runs a class in Williamsburg which is not a good commuting fit. 

Anyway, it was a period of a lot of intense drawing from life, something which due to my current concentration on painting, I've not been doing a lot of, apart from in a  professional capacity, which is not the same . Seeing  the pics of these oxidized drawings, makes me really want to get back into it. I'm loving describing things with line again. 

 I'll have to check out the League, Salmagundi Club,Society of Illustrators, or SVA and see what fits.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ballpoint Sketchbook 7 -Last One

This is my  last entry in the book so far, done while watching this past Academy Awards -an obligatory (at least for me) Moray Eel drawing. I just plumb don't like the image on the left page so I'm not going to post it. But I like this guy. He's a good place to end. 
That's it for now. I have continued to draw, sketch, for sure. Tons of stuff. Just not in this book, and not in ballpoint pen. I hope to return and finish this effing book!

Ballpoint Sketchbook 6

More Posefile and hand studies. Horror/Fantasy/Science Fiction writer HP Lovecraft on the upper right. The orange business on the next page refers to buying a stash of orange ballpoint pens, a sort of magic bullet color that is as close to yellow as you can get in ballpoint pen ink, at least that I've found.

Ballpoint Sketchbook 5

More Posefile studies -at this point I started doing the other thing I do when I'm in a sketching period of my life -I started drawing tons of hand studies. In fact, they pretty much take over the book at this point. Illustrator Andrew Loomis said to draw " a hand a day", a good idea which I always forget to do, but when I am in a sketch and study mode I draw them till I puke. They are amongst the most complicated bony forms in the human body as far as I'm concerned, and you can't draw them enough.
Yes, that is a badly remembered rendition of Ditko/Charlton's "The Question" in the upper right of the second page -hence the "?"

Ballpoint Sketchbook4

The nude studies I started to do in this book, are from a series of Japanese art reference books called Posefile. They function quite well in the absence of a real model, and the models are very often posed in interesting and difficult poses which are almost brain teasers to draw. That's SF writer AE VanVogt on the top right...
I reached  the quarter way mark in the book, and drew myself an appropriate milestone to mark it on the bottom left.

Ballpoint Sketchbook 3

That's David Thomas singer for AvantPunk act Pere Ubu on the left above the, er, heiny, and on the right a tribute to Wally Wood one of my favorite comic artists, who, alas, came to a very sad end. The other page is yet another drawing of Nina Hagen looking adorable on a TV performance of her first single "Du Hast den Farbfilm vergessen"  That's on youTube if you're curious to see it...but be forewarned, it's totally a corny novelty thing if you're allergic to that kind of stuff.

Ballpoint Sketchbook 2

That's Nina Hagen on the top pages, punked out and prepunked out, and on the next set, the actor that played King Vitaman in the second ad campaign for the cereal (after the initial Jay Ward cartoon one), and on the right is Mrs. Miles Davis - an interesting 70's recording artist herself, Betty Mabry, better known as Betty Davis, in a somewhat demure pose for her.

The Ballpoint Pen Sketchbook!

I started a sketchbook last year, using a ballpoint pen in a classic school composition notebook. I thought it would be a fun thing to do. Well, ballpoints are neat and I quickly collected as many colored ink true ballpoint pens as I could find, but the paper in this book turned out to be crap. I've often poked holes through it, and had to repair it with little scotch tape bandaids. It's too late to stop, I've already drawn a great deal in it, and I consider it part of the challenge now to work with these limitations in completing the thing. 

Anyway, I've selected some pages that I thought might be fun to put up here. You can see what the ink does to the surface of this paper, that's why putting it in a scanner makes it look even worse. So, the camera it is.

Those are leafhoppers on the second page. They use to used be all over our yard when I was a kid. There are all different types, but this is the one I remember.  Tiny little bright green, wedge shaped guys, that hop all over the place. Yep, we used to catch them.