Mirror Monday

The room that we use for our figure drawing workshop has a large mirror mounted on the wall behind the model stand. It’s been covered up for some time, but when it wasn’t I was able to see both sides of the model’s pose from my sketching spot. On days that I drew fast I had enough time to sketch both views. Over time, I accumulated about two dozen drawings that I refer to as The Mirror Series. This is one that I was able to create from a forty five minute pose. Sadly for our group, this lovely model’s work schedule prevents her from posing for us any longer. She was a gifted model, and we miss her.

Watercolor wash on Bristol board.

Any day at the beach…

is better than (fill in the blank). Here’s a quick sketch of the fishing pier in Avalon New Jersey. The day was windy and chilly; the surf was rough, so I made a pencil sketch of the scene while on the beach, and then washed in my impression when we got back to our shore rental. My watercolor professor in college had a mantra – “Never lose your whites”. Thanks, Mr. Grossman!

This is watercolor wash on a piece of bristol board.

Lone Tomato

So there was a lone, home grown tomato sitting on the kitchen table, innocently reflecting the daylight from two windows while simultaneously picking up the warm color of the tablecloth it was resting on. I did my best to immortalize it, because tomatoes don’t last too long in this home. Especially when there’s bacon in the ‘fridge.

Watercolor wash on a corner of a piece of Arches paper.

In the Shadow of Matisse

On occasion, observers of some of my figure drawings have commented that they “look like a Matisse”. While I’m flattered by that comparison, I have no illusions of being in the Master’s league. But I don’t mind paying him tribute, because his work was, and still is a big influence on me. So, here’s a tribute to the master himself, inspired by one of our talented Thursday night workshop models. My readers will no doubt recognize her from past entries.

Watercolors on Arches paper.

Figure Friday


Her name was Neferneferuaten Nefertiti, and she was a queen of great note who, with her husband, ruled Egypt in the years directly preceding the famous king Tut. Her bust is on display in Berlin’s Neues Museum, and according to wikipedia, it is one of the most copied works of ancient Egypt. This is our own famous figure model in a crossed-arms pose that reminded me of royalty, so here is my copy of the famous queen.

Watercolors on Moulin du Roy paper.

Autumn Days


While kicking through leaves one late afternoon on the Wyomissing trail, we came upon a stand of trees that glowed such a brilliant hue of yellow orange that it appeared to be lit from within. I’ll have to get better at identifying the trees, possibly redwood, maybe larch, but for now, they are the subject of a watercolor on Arches illustration board. For the sake of emphasis and composition, I stripped away the rest of the foliage.

It’s a nice time of year for getting outdoors, taking in the colors and breathing cool, fresh air. The summer heat and humidity are gone; the serious cold is yet to arrive. And, another holiday season is beginning. Here’s wishing everyone a great and relaxing time with family and friends.

Veterans Day


It was originally known as Armistice Day, a day to commemorate the end of the disaster known as World War 1, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. Sometime later, in the United States it was changed to Veterans Day, a day to honor all veterans. Those of us alive today are aware of the general events that occurred during World War 2, and the heroics of the greatest generation. But a generation prior, the world endured a four year global catastrophe known in Europe as The Great War. When the US could no longer ignore the fight raging on the continent, a generation of young men answered the call of duty and formed the AEF, the American Expeditionary Force. My grandfather was one of them, serving in a repair battalion stationed in England. While there, his job as a metal worker was repairing damaged aircraft. This painting is a tribute to him, a fictionalized depiction of a pilot receiving last minute instructions before heading out on patrol, in a fighter that perhaps had been repaired by the boys in the 824th repair squadron.

Watercolor on Strathmore paper.

Figure Friday


Faithful readers of this blog will recognize the beautiful model in this post; it’s another one of her easy-looking poses, and I was in foreshortening heaven! Please see my post from September 23rd. This is the long pose from the same session, about 45 minutes. I use that time to draw as much information about the model as possible. Later on, after I’ve thought about the pose for a while, I refine it and then carefully transfer it to a piece of watercolor paper and finish it. Watercolors on Arches paper.

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Cool, Man


In my next life, I will possess the mechanical skills to restore a vintage pick-up truck. I don’t have a need to haul anything, but I might be able to raise my coolness factor a bit by driving around town in it. I should probably hang my elbow out the window.

Watercolor wash and ink on Bristol board.

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