I have a daughter.. she's lived away from home since she started post-secondary. Now finished school, working and enjoying her life of independence. Last week, she took a day off work to see our family dentist - thought I'd get a chance to draw her while she was home for a while, but no luck... Me: "Do you need to head back right away? Maybe have some dinner with us? You could go back downtown tomorrow with your Dad..." Kate: "Uh, well, I really should get back - I have commissions I'm behind on, and roomies and I are having some friends over tonight, I should help set up, plus my cat needs to be fed, litterbox cleaned"... and so on. So I drove her back to her apartment and didn't get the chance. But I really wanted to show her off, so this is drawn from her high-school grad photo. She designed and made her beautiful dress (which turned out to be her career choice, hence the commissions). Boning and corsetry in the top section, complicated tucks and folds in the skirt section - she's one talented kid!
One of the toughest things for me to draw is a reclining figure... my brain actually tries to get my hand to draw what it knows, instead of sticking with what I actually see. When I look at the drawing sideways I see all kinds of problems with proportion - especially around her face - foot is a bit too dark and looks too much like a separate entity, but all in all, I think it worked out ok
You know that movie 'Twins' with Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger... they're separated at birth - one sent out into the cold, hard world - one given all the benefits of modern science & education.
In our house there lives one big, black, kinda curly-haired dog and one tiny, white, curly-haired dog. Basil: 100lbs, quiet, docile - definitely not 'alpha-dog'. Daisy: 7lbs of bossy, lap dog. But I just can't help noticing their similarities.
In conversation a few weeks ago I learned about a drawing group called 'Dr. Sketchy's Anti-art School'... basically a bunch of people get together every now and then, usually at a bar or nightclub, hire models to dress in wild costumes and take poses not normally found in a classic life-drawing session.
The costuming can be anything and everything... from vintage pin-up calendar girl, burlesque, cabaret, circus, animé, drag, horror - pretty much anything goes. The bar is open and the music goes on all evening... I was so excited to have discovered the group - sounded like a blast. Alas, the Toronto Dr. Sketchy's finished up last August after a run of almost 3 yrs.
Montreal and NYC are still active, so maybe I'll pack up my pencils and try to get into one of their sessions.
Our young neighbours a few doors away just welcomed their new baby girl a week or so ago. Like most women, I enjoy pretty much any excuse to go shopping, so went on a mission to find something cute for her. These days gender-specific items can be a bit of a minefield, but when I came across this little guy he seemed like the perfect gift.
Dave, like his brother is very handy at building and fixing things. Last summer they decided to build us a garden shed similar to the one in his brother's yard. Problem is that my brother-in-law and his wonderful wife have amazing talents with gardening and decorating - I love the way their home is so well put together. When we come home from visits to their place I get really inspired, but truth is that I'm a complete dud in that department. Despite having a job that's all about making stuff look clean and orderly, I find housekeeping and decorating completely overwhelming. Our place almost always looks like a hurricane tore through it.
First-time artist model... she did great - only a few short breaks. I caught her likeness fairly well, but seem to have overworked some parts, the proportions are off (she doesn't have that freakishly big head) - something about her legs isn't really convincing (I always see the bad bits first!). Instructor extraordinaire, Neville Clarke gave some very good advice to increase the contrast by darkening the leggings. Recurring problem though - leave enough space on the sheet for both feet to fit... always something to work on.
... about 7 pounds of needy Bichon Frise - kind of the polar opposite of Basil. She was my parents' pet and until yesterday was staying with my youngest brother and his large family of (mostly) girls. I'm sure she was very spoiled and treated like the princess she believes herself to be. She'll be with us for a while... but that's ok. When I look into her little face I'm reminded of the fact that she was the last one to have spent time with my father - those dark, piercing eyes have seen a lot.
Ya, I've missed a few days in the last week - no excuses. To be honest, not sure anyone's looking anyway, but commitment is commitment so just pick up where I left off - kind of like dieting - you fall off the wagon and the only thing to do is get back on as soon as possible.
Both of my parents passed away last fall - it's been a very strange time. Dad had a collection of beautiful old woodworking and leather tools - some were his father's and I suspect a few belonged to a favourite great uncle. But now that he's gone and they're gone there's nobody to ask or confirm - made me cry when I saw them again - I remember my Grandfather using these tools. So now they're my responsibility for a while...
ok, it's kind of cheating... didn't draw these today or even yesterday, but posting anyway.
I went back to the sketches I did on the first night of life-drawing class and it's funny how just the distance of a few days can make a difference in how you feel about them. At the time, I thought they were unrecognizable as anything other than a bunch of marks on the sheet, but when I look at them again, I see something very free & fluid... a quality I'd like to capture in longer drawings.
good class tonight... although I was in a rush to get home to my good man who didn't have a fun day.
Drawing on the left was a 30 min. pose - drawing on the right was 1h:10m - I think if I have too much time, I tend to kill something in the quality of the sketch.
...you forget simple details.
Wednesdays I try very hard to get over to my parents' home to clean and pack up stuff (longer story later). Their house is about the same latitude, but on the other side of the city - about a 45-minute drive. A couple of times I've gotten half way there and realized I didn't check which keys I had - only one set of the car keys has both our house key and theirs on the key ring... luckily, up until now, I happened to have picked up the right set. Not today...