Sunday, April 19, 2009


It felt so good to spend the day, all day, drawing. There was another drawing marathon in Palo Alto today. Looks like the poor economy is showing up here as well. Not nearly as many people showed up as usually do. I like being able to spread out and change positions for a better view, but I feel badly for those that feel that can't afford to come and for the sponsors who work so hard to put it on.

I have been on a spending spree the last couple of days. Must be the warm weather. Anyway, there is a school supply place near me called Morrison's. It is in San Carlos on Industrial & Holly. They have a second location in the South Bay. They were having a sale (except art supplies!!) Guess what I bought....all art supplies. I find the most wonderful treasures in this store. My exciting find yesterday was a large wooden compass that has a place to put chalk in either end. It is made from two pieces of wood that have a screw and wing bolt to connect them. When I had visited Mike Bailey out in Concord, he had his students tape a marker to a long dowel and then draw with the paper on the floor. Robert Burridge does this idea himself with a paintbrush taped to a long stick. It forces you to use your whole body and you have less control. Also, you can't hold the apparatus like a pencil. When I saw the fun drawings from Mike's workshop, I wanted to give it a try. This classroom tool is PERFECT!! I put a marker in one end, folded the gizzmo in half and did the one minute poses. I tried all kinds of pens and brushes today. If the brush was too small to fit snugly into the opening, I shoved part of a kneaded eraser in to hold it tightly. I used cheap coarse oil painting brushes with India Ink. The one above was drawn with the board on the floor. Most of the morning I had a table easel and stood back to draw. I have posted some of the drawings I did, using different materials, from today.

In the afternoon I went for the long pose which lasted for 3 hours with breaks. I used Conte Crayon on Pale Green Pastel Paper. Black, white, sanguine and a yellow ochre hard pastel were all the colors I used. It's been a while since I tried to work accurately and attempt to get a true likeness. I wanted to see if I could still do it! It's a pretty decent likeness. Some of the shadows were very strong and harsh. They didn't look right, so I softened them a little. I forgot to get the model's name. It's nice to be able to credit the model. I know I will see her again.


Nava said...

Ohhhh, I missed the marathon again! Those loose drawing with the marking pen are absolute fun (and a great exercise). Nice job on the long pose. I love the reflected light under the chin. You've got a wonderful glow there.

Rob Carey said...

The portrait is exceptional. What a great way to spend the day- drawing!

Mike said...

Terrific day, eh, Myrna?! No question that the long stick with a drawing / painting implement on the end is great for getting loose. There is another wonderful benefit; that of line quality and the spontansous feel of the total piece. That strong oblique line in the drawing above really gives the sensation of stretching, doesn't it?

When the workshop participants were doing this exercise, I was sure I would hear giggling and laughing. But NO !! You could SMELL the concentration in the room! Some terrific drawings came out that exercise!

I have some ideas for my own studio with the process!

Jala Pfaff said...

Utterly amazing, fantastic, wonderful drawings!! and also the portrait.

Related Posts with Thumbnails