Friday, July 24, 2009


I got the inspiration for this one while noticing a plant in the house. Once you stop and really look at something, you notice a lot more about it. I kept looking at it and wondering if I could draw it faithfully. I used tomatoes to play on the color contrast (red-green, yellow-purple, orange-blue). For artists who are familiar with the color wheel, they're directly across from each other. I wanted to make a few focal points in a very busy, detailed painting of leaves and branches. I figured the eye would jump from tomato to tomato and look at the leaves of the plant, which sorta forms a background to everything. I also wanted to recreate the illusion that I usually see when I look at the plant. I notice mostly green masses like the larger leaves at first, and then the smaller leaves as I keep looking. I just sold this one so at least someone out there likes it ;).

Anyway, feel free to comment, question, or criticize.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Practice, Practice

I try to practice with color at least four times a week. I could do a self portrait, but I think it's a more interesting to do a still life. I usually draw something small like a vase or a flower. For this one I used cherries. These cherries were red and yellow. I don't have a lot of yellow pastels so this was a challenge. Feel free to comment, question, or criticize.

Tuesday Night Session

This session was little different from other ones I've been to. Usually the model is nude and assumes a pose that's easy to hold for a long time, like laying on a couch or lying on the floor. For this one the model had on clothes and was posed in a comfortable chair with lots of drapes. I thought it was a nice change from the norm so props to the lady who ran the session. Props to the model for holding the pose for so long. It's probably hard enough to hold still for ten minutes. She held it for at least 30 minutes before taking her first break.

I worked on the figure with this session and it took a while to get my proportions and measurements right. It's a tough pose because her right arm and left leg are foreshortened. I think I struggled the most with that. After I started to render the values, the hands still didn't look right in relation to the rest of the figure and the feet were a little too big. Then the model took a break, which can really affect how the drawing comes out. When she resumes the pose she has to get as close as possible to the original pose, and when she doesn't it's almost like starting over again. For the most part, the model gets it right. I don't think I did enough with the hands and the knee doesn't look as foreshortened as it should be. I wish I had another half hour on this, but I think I accomplished most of what I set out to do.

Feel free to comment, question, or criticize.
Here's a closeup. The setup was done well and the model did a really good job considering that this was a two and a half hour pose.

Monday Night Session

Usually at a drawing session I draw the figure, but every now and then I'll try to draw a portrait. It's rare that I get a chance to draw a portrait from life. Figure drawing sessions present a good opportunity to draw a portrait with decent lighting, and I only have the face to worry about and not the full figure. I don't have to put as much time into measurements and proportions with the face as with the figure. Portraits are still pretty hard for me to get right, and the fact that I have a time limit doesn't help much. That said, I get a more finished drawing when I work with the face. Anyway, I need the practice.

This one was done in conte. I use a sharpened conte stick for the preliminary drawing. After the drawing is done, I add conte shavings by rubbing the conte stick on sandpaper. I spread the shavings with an old filbert bristle paint brush, which gives me the midtones. I add in the darks with a darker conte stick (also sharpened) and make highlights and lighter tones with a kneaded eraser. It helps me focus on lights and darks without worrying about color. I spent about 40 minutes with this drawing, and I probably could have added hair with another 20 min.

Anyway, feel free to comment, question, or criticize.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Here's another nude. This one was done in an hour, maybe a little more. I try to draw the reclining figure from a foreshortened perspective. It's a lot more challenging and I think it looks better.

Feel free to comment, criticize, or question.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I'll be using this blog mainly to post drawings of the figure and still lifes. I'll also post paintings that I'll enter into competitions and exhibitions, as well as other announcements. I've been going to a weekly figure drawing class for about three years now (maybe more than that). It's been a great way to get some practice drawing the figure and developing skills. Anyone who tells you that drawing from life is the best way to develop as a representational artist is right. The human figure is a complex mix of shapes and lines and measurements, and it's a real challenge to draw it.

Anyway, I'll be posting my work on a regular basis, so check back often and tell me what you think.

Let's get the ball rolling with a drawing. This one was done in an hour.