Figure Friday

Our group doesn’t get to see this lovely model too often, but we like the poses she throws at us. This one ranks up there with the child’s pose as one of the most challenging to draw in the span of ten minutes. Closed up studies like this are always great fun to draw. Much of her figure is hidden from view, but the anatomy is still there, and needs to be described in a way that looks believable on paper. Indeed, that’s the challenge for all visual artists – making our 3-D world look believable in 2-D.

Pencil and watercolor wash on rough paper.

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Color and Value

This post is actually about value as it relates to color, but is also something of an In Memoriam. Here’s a gouache painting of the cherry tree that once graced the left side of the Reading Public Museum’s main entrance, and has just recently been removed. The tree stood for generations and was a favorite subject of mine. I’ve drawn, photographed or painted it many times over the decades. This painting was made from a photo that is about 20 years old.

Color is a challenge for me, especially as it relates to value. Fortunately, I have Photoshop, and within that very powerful program is a feature that allows one to convert a color scan to black and white. So, when I’m struggling with a painting, I scan and convert it.  The grayscale version will immediately show any value mistakes, and I can correct it from there.

On The Rocks

I reached for the gouache this time. The fast, rough motion of waves battering rocks on the New Jersey coast needed a medium that is also fast and energetic to describe the action. I used quick, swirly brush strokes for the crashing water; short, blocky strokes to describe the flat, stubbornness of the rocks as they so insolently resisted the onslaught. It was a bleak, February day in Spring Lake. The medium seemed to fit the scene. This is one color – Prussian blue and white on illustration board, and is currently in my older brother’s collection.

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