Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Small Victories

For the past couple of years, I've been attending a Life Drawing meet-up every Thursday morning; it's one of the highlights of my week. Over the weekend I was sorting through the drawings I've kept and it was a bit humbling. Some weeks have produced more than one "keeper", while others had none. I'm not sure I'm even getting better—my Parkinson's may be starting to affect the looser strokes that I've been trying to attain. I also saw that the hands and feet in my earlier drawings are better than the more recent ones.  Of course, heads, hands and feet are notoriously hard to draw; many art schools have entire courses devoted to them. And there's no "faking it" as you can sometimes do with other subjects: unless they're really accurate, they stand out like, well, like a sore thumb.

Most of the time, part of a drawing works while other parts don't. So, rather than dwelling on the parts of this drawing that hadn't been completely successful, I decided to scan it and crop it to highlight this area—I think it stands alone as a nice little intimate portrait. Small victories.

Friday, September 4, 2015


Green is my favorite color. Last week I was looking for inspiration in the produce department of my grocery store when I was taken in by the beautiful way that white transitions to green in these vegetables, a head of bok choy and a leek.  I intentionally kept the white area very light; in fact I actually started with even less work in those areas than you see here. 

Prismacolor makes a pretty good range of greens (as you can see in my trusty old swatch chart) but, as is also true of their other colors, the lighter shades are much waxier (less pigment = more wax I assume) and are more difficult to blend. 

I did the bok choy first, and I was really fighting with the texture of my Stonehenge paper which is unusual. Then it dawned on me: it has a smooth side and a very slightly textured side. How had I forgotten this? So, I was careful to use the smoother side for the leek. Look at the difference (click to enlarge):

(Hey, that's the first time Blogger allowed me to place images side-by-side! 
New feature?!)

By the way, I also bought a third veggie that may round out this trio. Any guesses?