Life Class – focusing on portraits

My favorite painting of the day.   From doing the full pose I focused in on just the head as we only had 20 minutes each and I was having fun with this part.   

My favorite drawing of the day which was a 2 minute contour drawing.

First painting of the longer sessions.  This was 20 minutes total.

The second 20 minute pose.  I wasn’t as pleased with this – the face came out rather colorless.

Third 20 minute pose.   I moved onto just the face for the last two poses as I wanted to concentrate on getting the light and shade modeled more to my satisfaction.  Quite pleased with this.

More Joseph Zbukvic style people.

I was sketching in the coffee shop but I only really had a view of two people so I packed up and came home.    I have a Wacom Cintiq android tablet that I’ve been trying to get comfortable with and have tested out every single drawing app there is.   In the end I think I’ve come to the same decision everyone else has and like the Sketchbook Pro app.  It has a nice range of brushes,  a pretty simple interface and is pretty responsive when you’re drawing. 

I’m pretty happy with the results and I think the life classes are paying off.

Joseph Zbukvic – painting people.

I treated myself to a couple of Joseph Zbukvic DVDs as part of my birthday and at the start of the People at Work one he gives a great demo of how to paint believable people with only a few strokes.  These are my attempts and I’m pretty pleased.

Life Class

This was the first and (sadly) best of the day.  10 minutes each.

We did some washing out of the color afterwards and this created a nice effect on the second.  The paint was too dry on the first to have any effect.


I tried some bolder color next which I didn’t really like the look of although it was fun to do.   The third picture above was an exercise with water soluble crayons with lines following the form.  Not particularly happy with this but, again, fun to do.

First pose of the open studio (15 mins I think)  which I didn’t think much of at the time (the real thing is must less contrasty btw) but it’s growing on me.

Final pose of the open studio (30 mins?).  I screwed up and made the figure too long which is easily done when people are lying down.   Wasn’t enthusiastic about this.
On the whole I’ve come along in leaps and bounds in this term’s 6 week course.   Half way through last term I was thinking about not coming back as I didn’t seem to be getting much out of the sessions.  Then something clicked this term and I was getting proportions right and good color and could see shape and value much more easily.  Let’s hope next term brings further progress.
Note:  I’ve not posted many of the complete and utter failures of last term.    I will do a post on the failures soon and we can all have a good laugh.

Back in the swing of things.

Life class today with our great teacher 
Sheila Rice

.    This has been *really* hard in previous weeks and I was wondering whether I was getting anything out of them.  No fault of Sheila – she’s a great teacher and knows just how much to intervene/when to leave us be.
This week was a good week and I was extremely pleased with today’s efforts.   I was using the Charles Reid palette of cadmium red,  cerulean blue and raw sienna/quin gold and I amazed myself how much I could get done in 15 mins.  
I was working on cheapo Strathmore paper as we get through quite a lot when doing the earlier 30 second gesture drawings but it didn’t hamper me too much.   I always find the paint dries extremely quickly on Strathmore and this wasn’t helped by an extremely hot day.  This forced me to work more quickly than normal and it paid off.
The one above was the best of the day.

I gave up on this towards the end (note – no feet!) as I thought it was a disaster but looking at it afresh I’m quite pleased.

Last one of the day and I struggled for a while with the fact I’d given her a rather large moustache.

A good pose – and none of those pesky facial features to get right.   Somewhat tentative on the feet again (10 mins).

First of the ten minute poses.