Raphael - Finale!!

2/27/2010 05:47:00 PM Edit This 21 Comments »
First of all, a huge thank you to everyone who left such helpful suggestions and encouraging comments.  I can't tell you how much help all of you have been.  Secondly, thanks to everyone who noticed that I've been misspelling Raphael's name all this time and didn't point it out publicly.   You left it for my sweetie to kindly point out (and he did it very gently, too, bless his pea pickin' heart).  The thing is, I've always known how to spell his name, and yet, time after time I spelled it wrong.  I wonder if I'm drifting into the stratosphere and just not thinking about spelling shortcuts... lol
So, here it is, the final adjustment to a drawing that I've loved doing.  Yes, it has been difficult for me, but I've learned a lot, too.  All in all, I feel satisfied with the outcome.  Of course, every time I look at it I see something else I could add (or subtract), but for the most part, I think I've reached a point where I'm ready to move on.  And yes, I have chosen another drawing to work on.  All I'll tell you right now is that it's another DaVinci .... did I spell that right? 


Raphael WIP day 4

2/25/2010 03:34:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 11 Comments »
Well, I'm getting close to calling this one done.  I have some tweaking left to do and also some darkening in some areas, but other than that, I think I'll leave well enough alone.  I'm sure someone who's studied art history knows the answer to this, but I can't help wondering why so many of the masters used  seemingly nothing but  lines to fill in areas of their drawings.  I have to say, it does make it very difficult to copy them.  Duplicating the lines done by another hand is next to impossible (at least it is for me).  Maybe it was their way to copyright their work since there were no copyright laws back then!  lol  So, once again, here's my drawing, followed by the reference photo.



Raphael WIP day 3

2/24/2010 06:22:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 13 Comments »
Another rather busy day today without a lot of time for art, but I did manage a bit of time to spend with Rafael.  As you can see, I'm still struggling with the foreshortening and the proportions, but little by little it's beginning to come together.  So far I've done all of it with a 2B pencil (and, of course, a kneadable eraser, lol) and when I get it further along, I'll darken some areas.  I used the "auto contrast" thingy in Photoshop, which makes it look darker than it really is.

As always, your suggestions and comments are more than welcome!



Round Robin Pages

2/23/2010 08:37:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 6 Comments »
Tuesdays are always full days for me.  It's the day I volunteer all day at our county health department, then get home, have dinner & do the clean-up, etc.  Then since Wednesday is recycle day, I finish bagging all the recyclables and load them into the car and take the dog for her last walk (at least I hope it's her last one ... if not, I'll be getting up at about 1:00 to take her out again) before getting ready for bed.  Somewhere in there is reading and responding to my email, which usually takes me quite awhile.  Anyhow, all of this is to excuse me from not adding to my Rafael drawing.

Instead, I'm posting the last 3 spreads in my round robin book.  The first one is by Tanya Peacock, and it's full of wonderful textures which, sadly, don't show up in the scan.  It even has a bit of braille on it - how cool is that?  The second one is by Pam Hartman.  What I love about this one is the fabric butterfly - it's very delicate, and the piece of lace.  It has interesting text relating to sewing, pattern pieces, and of course, the adorable ATC sized card on the right side.  And, last but certainly not least, is the spread by Candace Wareham.  Each book she worked in had small, hand made little fabric quilt block, embellished with the most wonderful things.  Mine has buttons, beads, charms, lace, beautiful fabrics and beautiful stitching.  It's simply exquisite.  What can I say?  I feel very blessed to have this special book and am so appreciative of all the effort each participant put in. 




Raphael WIP day 2

2/22/2010 03:23:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 15 Comments »
Well, I got wonderful suggestions from you, and I tried them.  I had already been doing the "upside down" method for the beginning, and I continued to use it as I went along.  I also tried lightly penciling in  his body, and that did help me some.  It isn't shaping up to be a perfect copy (again), but then, I know none of these will be.   The reason I'm doing them is to glean whatever I can from the process.  The other reason I'm doing them is that it's fun .... oh, and one more .... I don't have to come up with an idea of what to draw for awhile, which for me, can be the hardest thing of all to do!


2/21/2010 08:56:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 12 Comments »
We had a bit of a birthday party here last nite for our son Andrew and Carrie, his wonderful wife.  Their birthdays are just a day apart, so we celebrate them together.  I've spent the last few days shopping, wrapping, cleaning,  planning and cooking, so I haven't had the time (or energy) to spend making art.  Also, since I'm not in the habit of staying up late, I must admit that today I was a tad slower than usual.  Oh, and in a non-art aside, I got a treadmill delivered on Friday, and today was the first chance I've had to give it a go.  I have to say, I do love having it here .... now all I have to do is develop the habit of using it!  No easy feat for a person of my athletic persuasion ... that is to say, I really have a strong dislike for working out.   Enough of that, tho.

I finally decided on my next attempt.  Rafael wins the day!    The name of it is "Study for a Soldier, His Leg Repeated", done in black chalk.  I found the drawing in one of the books I recently bought, and it's filled with really complicated, difficult, sketches.   Part of the challenge of this project for me is that each artist has his own style and "hand".  Switching from one to another has been hard for me.  This is the first one I've done that involves the whole body, and I'm finding  the position of this body especially difficult. I don't know if I'm going to include the second sketch of the leg in my version of it, but I'm thinking probably not.  As in my previous drawings, I'm using pencil.    As you can see, I've only just started it, and even tho there's almost nothing to look at yet, I'm going to follow my practice of posting the day's outcome, no matter how small.

Watercolors and More RR Pages

2/17/2010 03:04:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 24 Comments »
I've been pretty busy the last few days and haven't done much with art except look thru some of my new books to decide on a new "masters"  project.  I've narrowed it down, but no decision, yet.  So, I thought I would share a couple of watercolors I did some time ago.  I took reference photos in a local greenhouse, then painted them in the studio.   They were hung in a solo exhibit I had a few years ago, and I sold both of them.  I have a hard time letting go of my paintings sometimes, and yet, I also have a nice feeling knowing they are "living" someplace where they are appreciated.  We are complicated little beings, aren't we? 



Also, as promised, here are 2 more spreads from my RR book.  The scans don't do these lovely pages justice,  but then I guess they never do!  The first one is done by Bonnie Linhart, and the second is done by Cheryl Wrede.  Aren't they beautiful?   



Rubens copy - version 3

2/14/2010 08:53:00 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 16 Comments »
Well, I tweaked it a bit more today and while it still doesn't look like the reference photo, I think it's getting close to  being all I can do to it to make it better.  I think I still need to make the left cheek (as we look at it) rounder - the face still looks a bit flat.     I can't tell all of you how much I appreciate your suggestions and comments.  This has been a challenge - but the truth is, every master's drawing I've tried to copy has been really difficult for me.  That said, I'm so enjoying doing them ... good thing since I bought all those books!  So, here's my version of today, the reference photo, and then another page from my RR book.

This one was done by Anne Downen, a wonderful artist in Washington who is also a blender and seller of the best tea ever!  She has a blog, which you will find in my blog list (Eccentric Pastiche) - just give it a click, and you'll be there!

Rubens copy - version 2

2/13/2010 06:45:00 AM Posted In , , Edit This 12 Comments »
Well, I've done some more on the drawing, and here is the next version.  I decided that since the angle of the head is wrong that rather than start the whole thing over, I'd just make the best of it, forge ahead, and then sometime in the future, try this one again.  I like the eyes better now.  They are more nearly looking in the same direction, unlike version1.  Oddly, I think this little person is beginning to look like a former neighbor of mine!  lol  As before, I'm going to include my reference photo with each posting so comparison is easier.




This is the next spread in my book and was done by Liisa Mannery.  She wrote in her fine, delicate, hand, "Absolutely pure, pure white is just a dream of a dream ....

Rubens copy

2/12/2010 12:17:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 14 Comments »
Recently I went nuts and bought a bunch of new books.  True, most of them weren't expensive, but still, in the last week or so, I bought 9 new books, and they do add up.  Anyhow, one of the new ones is called Rubens Drawings, published by Dover.  It has 44 plates of drawings by Peter Paul Rubens.  So, in my on going desire to improve my drawing (starting with the most important aspect of drawing which I think is Seeing), I've begun another copy of a master's drawing.  This one is entitled "Portrait of a Child" done around 1619.  The original was done with red, white and black chalk and pen and ink.  I'm planning on doing the whole thing in pencil.  I have charcoals and conte crayons, but for the sake of tidiness, I'm going to stick with pencil.  So, here they are - my beginning and my reference photo.  As you can see, I'm having great difficulty with the eyes.  Also, the angle of the head is wrong.  I'll post my progress as I go along.

This is a picture of the second spread in my RR book.  This was done by my friend Teresa Stebbins, a wonderful artist and maker of books.  The photo doesn't do it justice.

True Colors Round Robin

2/10/2010 05:23:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 16 Comments »
In Sept. 2008 I was invited to participate in a round robin based on the book True Colors.  There were 9 of us, and we each chose a color, made a book, did the first spread (with an explanation as to why we chose the colors we did), and sent it off to the next person on the list.  Well, after all this time, it's winding down.  I spent the day today finishing the last spread in the last book I have to work in, and I have mine back!  I thought I'd  show you the cover of the book I made, the explanation of my color choice, and the spread I did in it.  If you'd like, over time I'll post pictures of the other spreads in my book.  They're all wonderful, and I just love my book.  The long wait was definitely worth it!




Version 2, Sargent and Cake

2/07/2010 07:29:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 12 Comments »
I'm done fooling with this drawing - I don't think I can get it to look any closer to the reference photo than it does. ...... also, I'm ready to move on to something else!

This weekend was a busy one - we spent a good bit of yesterday in Ann Arbor, which is always fun.  We ate breakfast out, then went to Michigan Book and Supply for some art supplies, then on to Borders Books where we picked up a few birthday presents.  We also went to a wonderful art gallery (16 Hands) and another shop (Falling Water) that sells books, cards, candles, gifts .... well, you get the idea - it's really a fun place with great things to see and buy.

Anyhow, today my sweetie baked a Chocolate Kahlua cake for a coworker who is turning 50.  He did a wonderful job on it with only minimal assistance from me (in the form of gentle suggestions ... at least I thought they were - lol).

Tomorrow I'm finishing a RR book spread and starting another Master's drawing, which I haven't selected yet.  So, here's my "finished" drawing, and my sweetie's cake:


Doesn't it look delicious?  It smelled delicious, too!

New Masters Project

2/05/2010 08:19:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 21 Comments »
Today the books I ordered with drawings of the masters arrived.  I got one book of DaVinci drawings, one of Raphael, and one of John Singer Sargent.  I quickly thumbed through the 3 of them, and I decided to switch to Sargent because the style was entirely different from the "DaVinci" I just finished.  I also decided to start a new sketch book devoted entirely to these sketches.

So, after deciding on Sargent, I picked out a drawing that I naively thought would be a relatively easy one to start with .... NOT!  It's a "simple" line drawing, so it seemed like a good one.  Ha!  The problem is that there is absolutely no room for fudging anything - it either works or it doesn't.  So, here is my feeble beginning, followed by the reference drawing. 




2/04/2010 08:03:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 16 Comments »
While I'll be tweaking the "DaVinci" drawing a bit, I'm not going to post it again.  Remember (or not) how the book that the reference photo I was using weighed a ton?  Well, I decided that rather than struggle with it again, I would order some other books (paperback this time) that will be a tad easier to work with.  They should be arriving tomorrow.  I ordered a book of DaVinci, one of Raphael, and one of Sargent drawings, and I'm really excited about getting them.  I'm going to pick out another drawing from one of them to copy.  I think that trying to copy different styles will be both interesting and educational for me.

So, in the meantime, I thought I'd share a drawing I did for my parents years ago when they moved to New Mexico.  It's a portrait of Chief Joseph - a man who sacrificed much to save his people.  He's one of the people I think is a true hero.

WIP Day 4

2/02/2010 08:31:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 15 Comments »
I didn't have much time to draw today as this is my day to work at the Health Dept.  I volunteer there one day a week (and I love it!).  Anyhow, I noticed that every time I look at the reference photo, I see something different, such as shaped formed by value differences that I hadn't noticed before.  Of course, those insights  throw my own drawing way off.  Even so, rather than just give up and toss the whole thing, or get out the eraser  (again), and remove large segments of it, I just chalk it up to the learning process and continue on.  I think I'm nearing the end of this one.  I know I'll do a bit of tweaking on it, which of course I'll post, but I think maybe one more drawing session with it and I'll be ready to move on to something else.  So, here it is, not quite finished.



WIP Day 3 and Revelation

2/01/2010 04:00:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 14 Comments »
Little by little I'm making progress on my drawing.  I'm finding the hair especially challenging, but also fun to do.  I think I might be in the home stretch, or at least nearing it.

I mentioned in an earlier post that the only book I could find here at home about DaVinci is is gigantic tome that's sort of hard to work with ... it has a mind of its own and doesn't want to stay open.  Anyhow, while looking for something to draw, I didn't read any of the text - just looked at the pictures.  Imagine my surprise (and chagrin), then, when I actually read the text regarding this picture and discovered that the drawing isn't by DaVinci at all!  It's called "Young Man in Profile Facing to the Right" attributed to Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio.  Even that designation is in question, and some scholars prefer the designation, "school of Leonardo".  So, for the sake of consistency, I'll continue to refer to it as DaVinci, but you and I know better now, don't we?