Thursday, February 28, 2013

Carolyn and Darrel, Semi-Blind Contour Drawing, by Kim Blair

Semi-Blind Contour Drawing
Pen & Ink on paper, 12x9
Carolyn & Darrel posing/sitting

 Carolyn & Darrel
 Scribble Gesture

Scribble Gesture of Carolyn

Last night was my night for figure drawing, and you can see from this posting that we had a male and a female model.   Carolyn and Darrel are very experienced life drawing models and I throughly enjoyed all of their poses.
As you can see from the first photo I chose to do a Semi-Blind Contour drawing of them during their final pose of the evening.  This final pose was only 20 minutes in length... (usually the last pose is 30 minutes) but I still enjoyed trying my hand at this drawing technique.
When you do a Semi-Blind Contour drawing you get to look at your paper once in a while to reposition your pen to start in a new area, but as with Blind-Contour the expectation is that you will try to coordinate your eye and hand movements by slowly tracing the edges of the subject with your eyes while at the same time moving your drawing instrument at the same speed that your eyes are moving along the edge subject.

Like magic a whimsical image begins to appear on the paper as your pen slowly twists and turns while  you try to fuse a connection between your eye and hand movements.

The end result looks like a quirky fusion of a cartoon and a character drawing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Self Portrait
18x6 graphite on paper

A Self Portrait is something most artists tackle.  As the model we are always available and don't squirm (much) during the session, although a few deep exasperated sighs can be heard now and then.

So I decided it was about time I delved into an ongoing self portrait project.   It is fascinating what you discover as you look intensely in the mirror... studying the subtle nuances of light and shadow along with the 'character lines' that make up our appearance.  The project has its sobering moments when you come face to face with the person staring back at you in the mirror and realize that you have no choice but to acknowledge what you see.

As the session(s) progressed I started to enjoy the process of looking... appreciating the time for a closer examination of the person in the mirror and reflect on what I was seeing.  

Perhaps one of the interesting things about doing self portraits (or anyone's portrait for that matter) is knowing that the artist has the opportunity to discover and portray the multifaceted personality of the sitter.

We really are more complex than at first glance...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Oil Portrait, Copy of Siri, by Kim Blair

(attempted) Copy of the Study/Siri
 9x12 oil on canvas
(attempted) Copy of the Study/Siri
9x12 colored pencil 

A few of years ago I purchased a number of older issues of some art magazines and was instantly captivated by a portrait I saw in the August 2000 issue of 'The Artist's Magazine'.  The american artist Jerry Rudquist ( 1934-2001) painted a colorful 'alla prima' portrait of a young woman... I immediately tore the page out of the magazine and kept it in a folder for a few years before I attempted to copy it for learning purposes.

I was very sad to discover that this talented artist passed away at the age of 67, just a year after the article was published.  It would have been an honor to have taken a workshop with him.  His expressive brush work and unique color choices inspired me to study his style by attempting to copy his 8x6 oil study of Siri.   The colored pencil sketch (see above) I created this past September is a better attempt at copying the likeness of his original, but I had the most fun creating the 9x12 oil color study last week.  

The excitement of exploring color choices took over my brain and I missed the mark on making a better likeness, but I will attempt another copy.  My color choices are not the same as in the original by Mr. Rudquist's, but by observing his study I was inspired to experiment.   

Here is an interesting youtube video of Jerry Rudquist painting his own eye...  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Female Figure Drawing Study, by Kim Blair

Female Figure Study I
12x9 ink with ink wash on acid free paper

Female Figure Study II
9x12 graphite with ink on acid free paper 

Female, Scribble Study
9x4 ink on acid free paper 

The female form offers smooth flowing curves which gives me more opportunity to utilize fluid line work and tonal washes in ink.
It's not an easy job being a figure drawing model... you need strength and stamina to hold your pose for 30 seconds... to 30 minutes.  The shorter 'warm up' poses are usually more dynamic and spontaneous which offers the artist a very short period of time to capture the energy of the model's stance.

Obviously the model chooses to pose in a comfortable position for the longer poses which makes complete sense.  But even these more comfortable longer poses can take quite a bit of energy and focus, as the model needs to stay as still as possible, yet not fall asleep... on the job.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Figure Drawing Studies of Shelby, by Kim Blair

12x9, graphite, pen & ink study 
4x3, close-up of scribble study
 Shelby Lying On Her Side
4x8, ink study
Shelby in OM Pose
9x6, felt marker study

The time slips by at the figure drawing sessions... from the first few 30 second poses to the final 30 minute pose... the time seems to condense, creating a feeling that the evening was only an hour long rather than 3 hours.

Being completely engaged in the creative process seems to be the key to activating this 'time warp'.  Focusing my attention on drawing the model shifts my brain into auto-pilot, which seems to remove most of my awareness from the conscious level that deals with the relativity of time.

Or at least that's what I think may be happening?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Red Diner I and Red Diner II, Abstract Collage, Mixed Media Painting, by Kim Blair

   Red Diner I
6x6 collage, mixed media
on acid free paper

Red Diner II
6x6 collage, mixed media
on acid free paper

Whether you enjoyed your hamburger, fries and milkshake perched at the counter on a red vinyl covered stool or were lucky enough to procure bench seating in a booth you experienced a piece of American history that began around 1872.   A horse drawn lunch wagon selling sandwiches and coffee to late night newspaper workers morphed into a fixed establishment through the repurposing of railroad dining cars, and acquired the name 'diner'.

What most of us remember and still get to experience is the classic version that first appeared after WWII... a stream-lined chrome beauty styled to express speed and mobility... a futuristic design updating the original box car.

Diner cuisine seems to be going a bit upscale these days thanks to all the cooking shows on The Food Network, but I bet most of us still think of diner cuisine as 'comfort food.'

Enjoy your carbs... and then head to the gym!


Friday, February 1, 2013

Rococo Pink, Poppy Painting oil on canvas, by Kim Blair

Rococo Pink
9x12 oil on canvas

Spring is only 2 months away... and my thoughts drifted to flowers... frothy pastel poppy blossoms to be exact... and viola, I had a reference photo of some spectacular pink toned specimens from last summer... how could a girl resist?

I named this painting after the Rococo period which developed in the early 18th century in Paris, France.  It was a more playful time for art and architecture and began in response to the heavier masculine Baroque style that was made popular by the Catholic Church.

A more curvaceous, asymmetrical design style Rococo was known for it's elaborate ornamentation combined with pastel-like colours creating a graceful whimsical approach to design whether it be fashion, art, gardens or architecture.

Marie Antoinette enjoyed Rococo, for a while...

Too much of a good thing is definitely not good for your health!

9x12 (needs some drying time)