New Year Life Class

Life drawing. Michele Clamp. Conte pencil on newsprint

It was good to get back in the saddle at Andrew Cefalu’s life session. I’ve been getting to grips with Loomis heads on the ipad whenever I can but it’s no substitute for the real thing. As is often the case I was happy with the evening’s work at the time but a couple of days later I’m less impressed. This was my favorite of the night. Especially happy with the feet – definitely got the posture there.

I discovered I had a Conte Pierre Noir pencil in my bag which I didn’t know I had. This was a nice surprise as the wonderful teacher Proko recommends these and I’ve been wondering whether to shell out the $2 to try one. Sadly I didn’t have a knife and my attempts to use my sharpener ended in blunt, lead snapped, tears. Will have to remember to sharpen this for next time. So these are the usual materials – Conte pencil and 16”x20” newsprint.

As usual we started with some 2 minute gestures.

After the usual shaky start I was quite pleased with a number of these. A nice sense of pose and movement in a lot of them.

Next onto the 10 minute ones

I included my false start on the first one. Rather than struggle on I gave up and started afresh. This turned out to be a good idea as it was one of the best of the night.

The final set of the night (15, 30 and 20 mins) including another false start. This is starting to be a thing – abandoning the whole drawing rather than try and correct it. Is this a good thing? Who knows?

All in all a good night’s work. It’s good to be back.

Life Class Again

This came around quickly! Back to
Post Road Art Center

for life drawing with Andrew Cefalu. Had a pretty good week this week. I’m really getting into hands and feet and making good progress. This one was my favorite of the night due to the tight clustering of both the hands and feet.

So as usual we started with 2 minute poses.

It always seems to take a pose or two to warm up. The first one especially is very scruffy but but the third I’m off and running. There was a bit of a screw up in the second one where I had my pad angled too far away from me which produced distortions in the head. Nice line energy in these – pretty happy here.

Next were a couple of 5 minuters.

And the rest were 15 minuters.

Breaking News! Art Classes this Fall


I am very excited to announce that I’ll be teaching my first watercolor class at
Post Road Art Center

here in Marlborough this Fall. Classes start on Sept 30th and run through until Nov 18th.

For further details and sign up forms please see the
Post Road Art website.

Many thanks to Randi and Kira for setting this up.

Life Class – Incremental Gains

A good session at
Post Road Art

last week with Andrew Cefalu in charge and keeping us all in order. Unusually this short 5 minute pose was my favorite of the night. In previous sessions I take about 2 hours to warm up and the last poses are my best and frankly I prefer it that way.

For the record here’s the evening’s work in its entirety, warts and all.

First the two minute poses :

Some nice stuff here. We had a great model with expressive poses and it really does help.

Next the 5 minuters :

Not too bad. I seem to have concentrated on the head and hands which is fine by me. Heads, hands and feet are hard.

Finally the 15 minuters. Not my best of the night but they were fun. Good times.

Life Class – The Cold Light of Day

Life Class Drawing. Michele Clamp. Conte pencil on newsprint.

The last life class was a little frustrating. The pencil didn’t move quite how I wanted and the outcome wasn’t as successful as I’d hoped. This time was different and I felt everything was going really well. When I came to look again at the results this morning, however, I had a bit of a shock. Someone had come in overnight and replaced my beautifully nuanced gestural drawing with a set of badly proportioned, overworked, scribbles. So it goes. Sometimes it happens. Let’s see some evidence.

First some 2 minuters.

Just loosening up really. Our model was really great. Some really good poses and the way she varied her head angle really added interest.

Next some fives and 10s. this one I think was the best page of the night even though they’re only a 5 and a 10 minute pose.

Life drawing. Michele Clamp. Conte pencil on newsprint.

There’s some nice nuance in the lines here and flow to the poses. Even the hands and feet aren’t too shabby.

Some more 5 and 10s.

Next a couple of 15s.

Ok I suppose. As you can see I’m failing completely to capture any sense of a likeness in the face. They all look like completely different people.

Next the best one of the longer poses :

Life drawing. Michele Clamp. Conte pencil on newsprint.

This one has the best sense of the balance of the pose and the light. The hands are dealt with sparsely but descriptively. Yes – happy with this one.

And the final, long pose of the night. At the time I was very pleased with this but sadly disappointed when I came back to it.

And finally our glorious leader Andrew Cefalu. Terrible likeness again but the drawing has some life to it.

It’s in the bag 2019


It’s that time of year again.  It’s the Post Road Art “It’s in the bag” competition.   $33 gets you a bag of materials and you have to work your magic to create something.    This year it was a doozy!   This is what we got : 



Prominent in the bag were materials for making poured acrylic paintings.   Now this is something I have absolutely no experience with.   After a bit of googling and YouTubing I worked out that you put a lot of paint in a cup,  pour it onto a board, shoogle it around a bit, drop in some alcohol ink and voila! Painting. 

It’s a lot harder than it looks. 

I got paint everywhere.  On the table,  up my nose (!) on my tea mug, everywhere.  This is what I finally ended up with : 



Kinda cool but I don’t think I’ll be doing a lot more of it.   And what I forgot was that these things take days to dry so I didn’t even get to enter it into the competition. 

So what to do?   Birds of course!   I first thought of a peacock but after trying I wasn’t happy.   I next thought of a toucan which seemed like a better bet but I messed up the beak which blew out into a big purple splodge.   This one ended up being the poured one above.    

After coming back to the peacock I decided I quite liked it so it was one of my entries.    Since I didn’t have anything to lose I tried the toucan again in a more traditional manner and he came out quite well.  Here he is : 



Phew – all framed up and submitted.  Why do I always leave these things to the last minute?