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.

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.

Fashion Show


On the beach, Olivia decided to try on her mommy’s straw hat, and it looked like a perfect fit! For this one I scanned a pencil sketch and used an old desktop printer to transfer the image onto a piece of Stonehenge paper. I stretched that and finished it with watercolors and a bit of gouache.

What would happen if…


Born of frustration, this abstract composition came about after I had spent too much time overworking a line of trees on a different painting. So I puddled some color in a few spots on a sheet of paper and shook it from side to side, then hit its edge up and down on a table. This is the result. Trees? Maybe. I’ll be trying this technique again. Watercolor on rough paper.

Bastille Day


Score one for the common people. The Bastille was a medieval fortress in Paris, built to protect the eastern side of the city during the Hundred Years war. It later became a prison used by the monarchy to jail those who ran afoul of the ruling class, and so it also became a symbol of repression.

Some years after the American Revolution, with the upper classes controlling every part of society, the French economy lay in shambles. A crushing national debt made tax rates onerous. Unsympathetic leaders turned a deaf ear to the underprivileged. Food shortages added to the general misery, and by July 14th, 1789, the French citizenry had enough of the ruling elites.

In an attempt to gain weapons and free what was thought to be large numbers of political prisoners, a revolutionary-minded crowd successfully battered down the drawbridge. Inside, they found only a handful of convicts, but no matter. The storming of the Bastille began the French Revolution, an act that eventually resulted in the collapse of feudalism and monarchical rule all over Europe. Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité!

Watercolors on rough paper, with some digital retouching, mainly to correct drawing mistakes.

It’s Spring!


And you know what that means. Yes – experimenting with a limited palette!!! Limiting your work to only two or three colors forces you to pay more attention to value and helps to unify your work.  Watercolor wash on hot press Arches paper.