Scheherazade

Here’s a portrait of the same lovely model that readers of this blog are getting to recognize. It’s drawn from a smartphone picture of her that was taken while she was on her break. Her exotic looks are the inspiration for the title of this piece, named after the legendary queen and storyteller of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, who tricked a murderous sultan into keeping her alive by spinning cliff hangers, then refusing to finish the story until the following evening, after which  she would begin a new one. Wikipedia explains that after one thousand and one nights, the sultan was so impressed that he allowed her to live. Nice guy.

Watercolors on Arches paper

Snow!

This is a quick sketch of a few guys engaging in some snow throwing fun. We finally had a snow-fall accumulation last week, and it hung around long enough to inspire some quick figure studies in preparation for a larger painting on the subject. I still need to work out a few details, like layout, figure poses, etc. I’ll be updating this subject in a future post.

Watercolor wash on Bristol board.

February 13th happens to be the one year anniversary of this blog, so whoooopie!

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.

A Seasonal Tradition

A few weeks ago, the very lovely Amy and I found ourselves following a tradition that’s been in our families since our own grandparents were young, and probably before them, since the idea of a Christmas tree has its roots in the old country. We went trekking across fields lightly dusted with snow, populated with fir and spruce, and shopped for the perfect tree, the one just right for this year.

You can readily see my part in this activity.

This is acrylic on illustration board.

However you mark the holidays, I wish everyone out there in Blog-Reader Land a happy, healthy, safe and peaceful time. Above all, celebrate by talking to one another, and making new friends as well as connecting with old ones.

Hermine

Our shore trip this year included the storm known as Hermine. For us, it meant two days of wind-blown rain and red-flagged beaches. The surf was thunderous, pounding the beach with fistfuls of waves that rolled in and crossed over, one on top of the next in a series of foaming, rapid-fire punches that sent concussive thudding sounds across the dunes. As we stood by the water, watching this furious display, a young lady trudged past us, carrying a surf board, her blond hair almost sideways in the wind. About a half mile up the beach, she turned right and headed straight into the maelstrom, throwing down her surf board and falling on top of it just before the first wave crashed over her head. She reappeared, then disappeared over and over, as rolling green mountains of water continually pressed her deep into the valleys between them. But she always surfaced, paddling up into the face of the next wave only seconds before disappearing under another avalanche of foam. This continued for about fifteen minutes. Then, like a prize fighter who has worn down her opponent, she emerged victorious, past the last line of breakers. There she joined two or three other kindred spirits sitting on their boards, all of them, no doubt recovering their strength for what would most likely be a fast ride back to the beach.

This is a gouache painting on Arches paper.

Figure Friday

queen-n

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.