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#30×30, 2022, Day 24: Figure Drawing Intensif! Day 4

June 23, 2022

Hey all! I’m going to post Day 24 early. It’s a little tight getting out to drawing class in the AM. I was almost late for the first set of poses (that’s why there’s a row of small heads in on the first page).

Here’s our rather amazing model for the morning session.

I was pretty impressed with this fellow’s physique. Of course I didn’t ask his age, but I’m going to guess he’s over sixty? To be honest, I’d put money on him being seventy. He did have a scar from a hip replacement. Though I hear it was a car vs bike accident. Either way, I’ve never been in his sort of shape at any age! Even if I did nothing else but work out for the next ten years, I doubt I could achieve this. This is the body of a lifelong athlete.

Frankly, it was an honor to make these drawings.

Yesterday I had *thought* I was going to come in and be super experimental. All free flowing and spontaneous. But – sitting there in front of today’s models – I found myself just making well observed portraits.

I suppose I feel, both our models had such gravitas, the least I could do was sketch them faithfully.

Here’s our afternoon fellow.

I did take two liberties here. In the first pose I drew him heroically. His portrait is pretty close actually, but I gave him a more chiseled build.

In the second pose, I felt the lighting on his face, and the fall of his hair, called for a leaner, more monastic build. Almost ghostly.

He said it’s exactly what he looked like 20 years ago :)

I had one little unfinished doodle left over – that 2″ head drawing. So I had some fun painting him as Geralt of Rivia. (The Witcher). He has that fantasy hero hair!

#30×30, 2022, Day 23: Figure Drawing Intensif! Day 3

June 23, 2022

Last night (evening of day 2) I was super tired – and it was only the second day of this event! I’m not used to getting up early and going to work! Hah. So, I decided to hit these with some wake up color ;) That’s out-of-the-tube DS Pyrrol Orange.

Then in the afternoon, the I rushed back after lunch to find this rather incredible back-bend recline.

There are a few details to this pose – the relaxed hand, and the tense foot – that made it a top notch design. Great work on the part of the model.

This model has a darker skintone, which is always a rare opportunity at life drawing. I think I was starting to get it in this little portrait. I enjoy doing these little heads – under 2″ tall. It’s a good ‘sketchbook’ size.

This one was extra fun, with her elegant two-tone bleached and close-cropped hair.

I had to try the last pose of the day twice – the first one was not a keeper.

But that always means I can re-draw it faster and cleaner the second try. Here’s the re-do sketch, and the painted result (below). Interestingly – these are done on Strathmore Aquarius II paper – (unlike Day 1 and 2 which were on Arches 140lb cold press). So yes – the Aquarius has been annoying me this time around. I don’t like it for this. It’s so soft, any pencil line is like an engraving tool. There is absolutely no option to erase on this paper. Also, it damages very easily. If you carry the paper around, it picks up dents and dings in the slightest breeze. Even get’s damaged by bulldog clips.

I mostly use this paper for making folded pen-and-ink travel sketchbooks – so I’ve never really noticed these complaints when I was working small and doing pen and ink + wash.

Anyway – I was pretty happy with this ‘no-fixes’ drawing :) That’s another kind of Direct isn’t it :)

#30×30, 2022, Day22: Figure Drawing Intensif! Day 2

June 22, 2022

Second day of watercolors with the live model.

Excellent model today. She set a few poses I haven’t seen before – which is actually pretty impressive. I’ve been going to figure drawing for 20 years on and off, so it’s pretty rare to see something new. She’s clearly a strong person – great core strength, rock solid poses, no slouching. I wonder if it’s because of the popularity of yoga? Who knows – but it makes for great sketching.

I know people will ask about this blue in here! Very normal question for watercolorists. We don’t do as much mixing of color as say, oil painters. people tend to go ‘straight out of the tube’ so, they’re always on the look out for new tubes :) This is Holbein’s Horizon Blue, which is a mix of PB15 PG7 PW6. < That’s Pthalo Blue, Pthalo Green and White, if I’m reading that correctly ]

In real life, it’s not quite as saturated. These are phone snaps taken in the classroom, so – not color corrected.

This (below) was the last one of the day. I was bit short for time, (got caught up waiting for other stuff to dry), so I spun out a quick cartoon. For some reason kind of like it :)

#30×30, 2022, Day 21: Figure Drawing Intensif!

June 21, 2022

I’m off to figure drawing today! Yesterday was actually Day1/5. I’ve signed up for a five day figure drawing marathon at UQAM. It’s been two years since they ran this event, (due to you-know-what-cough-cough), so when I saw it posted, I jumped.

I kind of regret committing to an entire week now that I’m actually getting up and going out the door at 8:30am. I’m not a morning person! But hey – I wanted motivation :)

Once again, I am the bad boy. Even though it’s #30×30, there’s a gesture-line under these. I will keep saying, (by way of excuse) Direct Watercolor is a goal, and also a Mindset. If you don’t reach 100% Direct (No sketch, no guidelines, just straight into paint) with every painting, well, you don’t quit just because you’re still working for it right?

Besides, I feel like, if you’re getting 10 and 20 min poses in watercolor, you’re still thinking Direct :)


#30×30, 2022, Day20: Kagoshima Shrine

June 20, 2022

#30×30, 2022, Day19: Umeda Shrine

June 19, 2022

#30×30, 2022, Day18: Hokiin Temple

June 18, 2022

#30×30, 2022, Day17: Castle Thurant

June 17, 2022

Alrighty! I don’t have any deep thoughts today. Just painting something found on the web, simply for the enjoyment of seeing the pieces click together. Anything that keeps us painting, right?

#30×30, 2022, Day 16: Reposting Noodles!

June 16, 2022

Oops! I didn’t get a painting ready for today! But maybe you missed this painted sketch from OneWeek100People? It’s not 100% Direct Watercolor, but maybe the painting tips are still useful to you guys :)

#30×30, 2022, Day 15: Mid Point Crit with Uma Kelkar

June 15, 2022

When you’re doing a marathon like this, it helps to have a partner who will exchange critiques.

Critique is a great form of encouragement. I think it’s superior to just plain sharing :)

What you’re looking for in a critique partner (or circle) is honesty, strong opinions, and accountability. A great critique-er will say something if they feel you could do better, or if you’re falling into repetitive habits. Think of it more like a gym partner than a support group :) You both need a bit of a ‘tough-love’ attitude. Even a little sense of competition between yourselves is ok, as long as there’s mutual respect. If the critique comes from a real desire to help, then you can say anything and there will be no offense taken :) (Ideally!)

Maybe it’s just me, but I find accountability more motivating than praise or comradeship. If you know your critique partner is going to tell you what they really think – well – you don’t want to embarrass yourself by not delivering right?

It’s really is the best way to finish a marathon.

In fact – I’m going to suggest; If you don’t know anyone in your area – you can always post on the Facebook Group and see if anyone would like to do a weekly zoom show-and-tell with you?

I’m sure someone will be up for it! – I will make a sticky post right now where people can put their name in the hat.

But – I won’t moderate or match-make :) This is up to you guys to choose someone who’s work you like (or you feel is ‘at your level’).

Please message each other, and see if you can set up a regular zoom. Maybe it will last beyond this one month. It’s worked for me with a writer’s group I’m in.

Best of luck!