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Suddenly, Compositions are Easy. Weird.

November 22, 2016

05_16nov01_brush-drawing_life-model_nude__direct-collage_watercolor (1).jpg

Recent life drawing session at Syn Studio. Sketching on half-sheet (15×22″) with a pointed round and limited color.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned, in the past, I used to make collages by taking a stack of individual drawings and designing the page in photoshop.

(Here’s a little how-to on that process).

Weirdly, in an example of the way the brain works, I’ve suddenly become able to simply sketch a collage right onto the page – and basically be satisfied with the ‘un-planned’ page design. The first one (below) is a little less perfectly planned. But those were the fast poses.

Kind of neat how some skills just unlock by accident.

05_16nov01_brush-drawing_life-model_nude__direct-collage_watercolor (2)

05_16nov01_brush-drawing_life-model_nude__direct-collage_watercolor (3)

14 Comments leave one →
  1. November 22, 2016 12:01 PM

    Wonderful lively sketches, Marc – love them!! If these skills unlock “by accident”, then because you´ve been working on the lock for years ;)

  2. mary permalink
    November 22, 2016 12:06 PM

    I had a similar experience one summer I made it a goal to learn to draw portraits. I banged my head against it that summer and never succeeded. (I was ust beginning to draw then). So a few months later I found Urban Sketchers and drew buildings for a few years. I moved to Madrid where there is a group called Retratistas Nomades, who meets like Urban Sketchers, but snags passersby for 15-minute portraits And, surprise! I could render portraits that looked something like the sitters, even though they did not look like rightangled buildings! Something had happened in my brain during that time that made this possible…

  3. November 22, 2016 12:12 PM

    I’m a beginner at life drawing – taking a class at the Emeritus institute affiliated with the local junior college for $5!!!! and a live model every session.

    Thank you for posting your drawings and your processes as they are both really helpful and inspiring.

  4. Estelle DeRidder permalink
    November 22, 2016 12:52 PM

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these – – – especially the last one. SO much grace, movement and atmosphere . . Just like Life Drawing sessions back in Art School – – – thank you for sharing.

  5. November 22, 2016 1:06 PM

    This post came at just the right time, Marc, I’m doing a life drawing workshop tomorrow! 💙💙💙

  6. Jen G permalink
    November 22, 2016 3:34 PM

    HI Marc, for the first 2 did you use pen and ink too or were they totally with watercolour and brush? thanks

  7. Waquesi Dreamingbear permalink
    November 22, 2016 3:45 PM


  8. November 22, 2016 4:52 PM

    One of my favorite things about this whole journey is watching how skills unlock unexpectedly. It is rather like a jigsaw, this whole life thing, isn’t it?

  9. November 23, 2016 12:17 AM

    I feel sensation in my body as your lines move.

  10. November 25, 2016 6:53 PM

    Superbes croquis ! juste ce que j’aimerai faire ;-)

  11. December 1, 2016 4:30 PM

    Hi Mark. Love this sketches!
    Can you tell me what colors you use for skin tones?

    • December 1, 2016 5:17 PM

      For Caucasians like this model I’m using Perylene Maroon as a base, which is a modern replacement for Alizarin Crimson. (Because Alizarin has been proven to be unacceptably light-sensitive). So yes, I start with the P.Maroon and might add anything from a blue (I have MG Turquoise on the palette) or yellow or gold. Buff Titanium, Naples Yellow or Quinacridone Gold Deep. Also I have Grey of Grey which is a off white Titanium white. So you’ll see I have a warm and a cool whitener (buff and G.of.G). In this particular case these drawings are very monochrome – so probably I used P.Maroon, the two whites and some Raw Umber Violet and Bloodstone Genuine for the hair/shadow colors.


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