Another good night at figure drawing class. We had male models this time, although one appeared to be a post-op transsexual (there were no dangly bits there, but hey, I’m not judging) so the body forms were different. The long-pose model I’ve had before, and he’s a tall gangly dude with skinny stick legs which never look right once they’re committed to paper, so I was happy with the short-pose model.
This mixed-media paper I bought is total shit for working with wet medium, so I switched to bristol and had better luck. Now, to see if I can get bristol in 11×14 sizes or larger.
And, after about ten years of attending these sessions (and seeing many of the same people over that period of time), I’m finally breaking out of my misanthropic shell and interacting with other folks in the class. Wow! Progress.
Our holiday in New York was wonderful but brief. We enjoyed visiting with my family, and Finn is now at the age where we spend less time trying to physically stop her from getting into things she shouldn’t and more time telling her. But overall, she was really well-behaved and polite. Unfortunately, she also started out with a viral infection that worked its way down into her lungs, becoming bacterial bronchitis (or something like that). She spent a good portion of the ride home mercifully passed out in the carseat.
The weather was very mild and sunny up there, which was a real pleasure; usually there’s a howling frosty wind sweeping down from Canada to chill the bones. We took a couple of walks to work off our Thanksgiving dinner and enjoy the sun while it lasted.
Returning home, we scrapped a lot of our plans for Sunday to get Finn to the doctor, pick up medicine, and relax before the week caught up to us. I got the pumpkin ale bottled while the girls napped, and sorted out some early Christmas planning while watching football in bed. Finn was up and down a few times before going to sleep, and woke us at 1 with a bad dream. I slept in the guest bedroom after we installed her in the big bed to sleep next to Mama.
Last night went well, even though I tried out a new paper which didn’t lend itself well to brush and ink. On the plus side, the model was very good and the lighting was perfect, so my overall output made me happy.
I thought I’d try a Canson 90 lb. paper, looking for something heavier to resist buckling and (presumably) stay wet longer in order to work with ink, but instead it tends to dry out immediately, and the tooth sucks in ink without giving it back-much quicker than the thinner sketch paper I was using. As a result, I had to really think about what I was doing before I started using water, which was good and bad—good because it made me think, bad because I started overthinking. The two sketches above were both 10 minute poses, which seemed to be the right amount of time to work before I started adding too much.
This sketch was done on bristol, which behaves much better with water and ink, and was 20 minutes long. I need to find bristol wire-bound in a larger format (11″ x 14″ seems to be the ideal size).
I had an excellent night at figure drawing last night. It was one of those evenings where the first sketches I did went smoothly, got into a real groove early on, and was able to stay out of my own head enough to keep the flow going. I made an effort to block out areas of light and dark, and then transferred that to brush and ink, staying with a total of three values as a maximum.
I think my efforts over the last few sessions were getting too fussy and additive, where much of my skill in draftsmanship tends to be subtractive (choosing what not to include vs. adding every little thing), so going back to washes of a medium value highlighted with black details really works well.
One of the things I’ve been struggling with for years has been accurate drafting of facial features. I tend to use my mental library of what a face should look like, based on familiar shapes and lines I’ve used for years, vs. what I actually see in front of me (hence, getting out of my own head). I made an effort to slow down and pay attention to what I was seeing, and let that come through to the page. I had mixed results, but a few drawings were promising, and that’s my next hurdle.
I’m toying with the idea of bringing color next time. Which makes me nervous.
Lots of small updates. I was in Chestertown for day 2 of bumper building with Mr. Scout, and I wrote up a report here. I was also trying to make time to get to the steelyard to buy stock for a TV stand, and made it all the way down there with Finn to realize I’d left my wallet at the house.
I’m continuing to enjoy the Chinook IPA I brewed last month. It’s now registered for a local beer competition (“Manifold IPA”, in celebration of successful surgery on the Scout), and have to find a way to get it down to Maryland Homebrew to officially enter it. I also had another fantastic IPA at Brian’s that I think will be my next recipe.
Week 1 of life with my iPhone 4S has been awesome, to say the least. Having the camera in my phone rival that of a dedicated point-and-shoot is worth the purchase price. Having them sync wirelessly is like Christmas in July. I was driving the Scout back from Chestertown yesterday and asked Siri, “Tell Jen I’m over the bridge.” Siri set up a text message almost immediately and sent it off—working perfectly over the whine, roar, and rattle of the Scout at 65MPH. I bought an Otterbox Commuter case for it, and it’s a perfect fit.
Also: this rules.
They might as well have just dressed up a fucking chimpanzee.