Friday, February 22, 2013

The Old Jail

In Heathsville, Virginia which is my basic mailing address, there are some wonderful historic buildings. The old jail is just one of them.

I want to repeat this with a larger painting so I can put in more details. I also think it would be a great location for some plein air work.

I'm going to two plein air events this spring/summer to see how the pros do it. I can really see how working from a photograph is completely different from working from life. Between the camera and the computer/developer the colors and values change dramatically.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Life Drawing Group Again

My President's Day holiday from work was spent with the Rappahannock Art League Life Drawing Group. They meet on Mondays from 10 to noon in the back room of the RAL Gallery on Main Street in Kilmarnock, VA. Very nice bunch of folks and some great talent there besides.

Today, after some fast gesture drawings to warm up, we did two poses. Each one was set for three 20 minutes sessions. This was, by chance, the same gal who posed for us on my last holiday. I gave her my first drawing which was face forward. I wasn't particularly thrilled with it. But I do like the second and only wished I had one more 20 minute period in which to do more finishing on it.

I used pastels. This is my first pastel drawing of a person from life. I was also working with an extremely limited palette as I left my big set of Sennelier's at home.

There was a slight shift in her position from the second to the third session so her hips took an odd turn as did the director's chair she was sitting in... but I am, over all, pretty happy with this.


Seems like the only time I can keep my husband or my cats to be still long enough for me to sketch them is when they are asleep.

In this combined sketch, I got one of my rapidograph pens to work once again. I love sketching with these pens. I used them last seriously, when I was an art student at VCU back in 1978 and '79.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Spring comes

We live in an old house (built in 1909). We found some wonderful old flowerbeds, long neglected and over the past 20 years have saved some of the old flowers and shrubs that survived without much human help.

Among those flowers are some tiny, very early daffodils that were growing up against the kitchen wall. I moved some of these out under a dogwood tree that appears along the drip line of one of the giant pecan trees. I can see them from the kitchen window.

This year, they bloomed even earlier than normal. I set up a little vinette featuring these lovely, cheerful things.

The photo is not accurately reflecting the yellows. It pushed too much yellow into the sea shell.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Self Portrait

I was minding the front desk at my office a couple of weeks ago while the secretary was at lunch. The front window over looking our lobby, has a reflective band on the lower half to discourage the clients from staring at the secretary while they are waiting. As a result, the secretary's side is also reflective. So I did this sketch of myself.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Fall Fiber Festival Drawing

I attended the Fall Fiber Festival in Montpelier Station, Virginia last October.

Fiber is my other passion and I try to attend the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in May and the Fall Fiber Festival later in the year.

This year, at one point, I turned and looked down the "concourse" just in time to capture a few of the attendees, doing all the various things attendees do. I snapped a photo, then put my camera away. Just one picture.

I got home and looked at it and just knew it was supposed to be a drawing or painting. It was just too cool (at least in my mind). I tackled it in colored pencil. It seems a little flat to me somehow, but I'm not very good yet with colored pencil. I may try it again in pastel on a large scale and see how it differs.

Here is the drawing in process:
Here it is completed:

Pastel Journal

I splurged a little and purchased a DVD with the first 10 years of Pastel Journal. I'm up to the fifth year and finding most of the articles very interesting.

I also subscribed to the magazine itself. Not sure when my first issue will arrive. Then, all I will have to do is complete the set from 2009 until 2013.

If you really like working in pastels, as a beginner or more experienced artist, so far, I can recommend this magazine.