Figure Drawing Rained Out

Dynamic Virtual Poses from Posemaniac

Dynamic Virtual Poses from Posemaniac

Did I mention that I am usually on a motorcycle.  We have had 17 straight days of rain!  That makes it very difficult to get the art supplies from home to the group studio!  Exclamation!  Fortunately, we have these here interwebs.  There is a site that I have recently been playing around with called Posemaniacs.  It’s in Chinese, but google translater will fix that for you if needs be.  There may actually be an English version of it somewhere, but this one works fine for me.  Anyway, as you can see they have male and female muscular figures in 19,440 poses.  You can set a timer and let them rotate through a random slide show at set intervals.  If you see one you like, you can view it statically with the pose viewer.  I have been setting it for 30 seconds and doing ten minute drills.  This is exactly the kind of practice I need for my field sketching.

EDM 117

EDM 117: Draw hair or something hairy

EDM 117, draw hair or something hairy.  Recently, preparations have been in process for my 20th high school reunion.  I have been poring over old photographs and sharing stories with my family.  Mostly, I have been posting embarrassing pix to Facebook.  I graduated in the 80’s so there are TONS of pictures of mullets and bangs.  Guys and girls alike would go through a can of Aquanet every week.

I Love a Parade

Yay!  It’s a parade in my house!  This weeks theme for Illustration Friday is a Parade.  So I gave Girl2 some pots and pans and asked her to march up and down the hallway banging the “drums.” It took my beautiful young bride 20 minutes after to get the drums away from her and get her calmed back down for her bath.  But dang she had fun parading up and down the hall way.

EDM 116: Draw something round

EDM 116: Draw something round

EDM 116, draw something round, I immediately started singing “Like a Re-ed Rubber Ball…”  Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on your perspective) that’s all the words I know.  If only I knew where I could find a round ball.  Having a three year old around once again pays off.

Making Your Mark

makingmarksThis may come as a shock to some of you, but there is more than just one way to make a mark.  My trip to the OKC Zoo on Saturday had me trying out a Faber Castell pen.  I found it to be “scratchy” and lacking the ability to lay down a dynamic line.  But, sometimes that’s exactly what you’re looking for.  In comic illustration, for instance, that is exactly the kind of thing they want for outlining and hatching superheroes going “Ker-Pow!”

elephantI prefer the flexible nib of the brush pen, or even just a brush, because I rely heavily on the fluidity of the line to give me the shapes I am looking for.  Perhaps with more training and patience I will come to appreciate more the finer tipped pens.

A lot of times, however, I want to use watercolors to sketch with.  As a child of the 70’s and 80’s, my work is HEAVILY influenced by the artists with their ink and wash sketches, particularly those found in Highlights magazine.  Often, I don’t think a watercolor is complete until you have the shapes outlined.  For that you either need to sketch with the paint first and wait for it to dry before attempting to outline, or you need a waterproof ink.   The Faber Castell did outstanding in that area.  Better even than a sharpie, and those are supposed to be “permanent”.

Many people like to lay down the initial sketches with a graphite pencil.  I never liked that because the wax always seemed to show through in my finished product.  That is until I discovered watercolor pencils and watersoluble graphite.  These are great for laying down quick lines and then painting them away with your wash.  Of course, the downside is that they wash away when you need the outline. Or they’re gone with the first wash and you don’t have the marks to show your value map.  Again, I’m sure this is something that comes with practice.

21apr09iiI have been experimenting in my figure drawing group.  I started with oil pastels and have now tried them, charcoal, and a china marker.  So far, I like the china marker most.  It gives me a rich, dark line that I can vary with pressure, and I can go very light to get grayscales.  Plus it takes me back to pre-school and drawing with my crayons.

This week, I challenge you to experiment making marks with tools you wouldn’t normally choose.  If you normally use pencil, try pen and see what it’s like without the net of being able to erase.  If you normally use pen, try chalk or pastel and see what it’s like not being able to feel the paper as you mark.  And if you can’t really find anything you’ve not tried before, you can always break out your crayons.  And after, have a snack and a nap.

EDM 115: Draw something Green

EDM 115: Draw something Green

For the EDM 115, draw something green, I really had to think.  How do you make something look green when you are only drawing in graphite?  Of course the obvious answer is to draw something everyone knows is green like a plant, a shamrock, or *Maureen O’Hara’s gorgeous eyes.  I looked around and I found something that if you know what it is, you’ll definitely recognize as green.  If not, you’ll have to ask you friends who drink.

*Maureen O’Hara is the only woman who even comes close to competing with beauty of my bride.

A Budding Young Artiste!

girl2apples2I love it when the kids paint with me.  Of course Boy1 and Girl1 are much to grown up to indulge in such trivial pursuits.  But Girl2 LOVES it.  This is an apple tree in watercolor, I believe roseart, on computer paper.  This shall be hanging on the LitK for several weeks before it goes into storage.  I expect to trot it out for the press when Girl2 becomes queen of the planet.  I believe that my bride drew the tree and the circles for the fruit.  But just look at the looseness of the brush and the range of pallet the child has already grasped.  Yes, it’s evident that she is well on her way to being the ballerina, astronaut, veterinarian, biker, artiste, queen that she is destined to become.  I wouldn’t mind applying for that job myself.


EDM 112: Draw a fence

In Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall“, the neighbor states that “Good fences make good neighbors.”  Frost, in mischief, alludes to the sadness that dividing up the earth is the only way for mankind to get along with each other, while simultaneously conceding the point.  We build fences and walls everywhere we go.  We build them to keep things out and to keep things in.  We build them around our homes, neighborhoods, cities, some even like to build walls around countries.  But it’s the walls around our hearts that go up the quickest and come down the hardest.  On those walls, you can spend years taking bits of brick down before you can see into that heart again.  In half a second though, some misplaced word or deed, and that wall is not only rebuilt but reinforced.  But there is something in nature that doesn’t love a wall.  As long as you’re willing to keep trying, they will fall.

Colored Pencil Challenge

One of the May colored pencil challenges from Wet Canvas

One of the May colored pencil challenges from Wet Canvas

While I was perusing the online challenges this evening, I came across this one at Wet Canvas.  It is one of the photos for the May colored pencil challenge.  I love a close cropped still life.  I’m really tempted to just do this in ink.  I Think that I am going to take some time with this one and post my *WIPs as I go along.  Maybe I’ll even get it done by the end of the month deadline.

*Wip – Work In Progress

EDM 111: Draw something fresh

MMMM, Garlic.  We had spaghetti for dinner tonight.  We have all of these cloves of wonderful, fresh garlic laying around and I didn’t use any of it in the sauce.  I guess we’re saving it for when the vampires come around.  But I do love the smell of fresh garlic while it sizzles in the pan!