sktchy

I can’t stop drawing!

One might feel sort of lonely these days, not getting to see your friends or family in person. But one thing is sure. As long as you have wifi and a device to watch, you don’t have to draw alone. I tuned into Sktchy school recently and got to draw Dylan with France Van Stone, a favorite drawing teacher I remember from one of the early Sketchbook Skool courses.

dylan

Well I don’t really draw like France, but I enjoyed listening to her commentary and drawing along with her. It made the time go so fast! This is pen, watercolor and pastel pencil on toned paper.

ben

The subject of these studies will remain unnamed (so that I don’t get in trouble!) I did these studies from pictures I took on Face Time using a cool filter which maps the value shapes in interesting ways, making it actually easier to get a likeness and so much fun to paint. The conversation went through various changes from relaxed to animated. What a great tool to learn portrait drawing!

andy

Same person in these two portraits here. Quite an emotional range! Unfortunately I didn’t have access to the filter I used in the previous ones but I’m still practicing mapping warm and cool shapes that show volume.

One could say that these are examples of the emotional roller coaster we all find ourselves on these days. At least it makes for good portrait subjects!

eyesBen

Like this one! from the comic strip filter on Face Time, and captured during a conversation when my subject discovered how much fun it was to mug in selfie mode!

Benoutline

Probably better if I end this post with the pensive face of a young man, perhaps trying to figure out, like the rest of us, where this crazy planet is headed.

Zoomin with the Family

My first experience with Zoom was with the family. Our family is quite small so we could see each other well in Gallery mode (sharing equal space on the screen). Funny thing, these predictable family patterns that pop up in every interaction when you get together.

zoominwiththefamily

Just so you get the geography here. . .Andrew is in Princeton, I’m in my home studio in Sebastopol, California, Ben is in Nashville, and Bob is in the house.

It took a few minutes to school Mom in how to use Zoom, and then I didn’t get a word in edgewise, because it got pretty silly with typical male teasing behaviors. So I took a picture to document this jump into contemporary family communications, and later sketched it. Not surprisingly I captured everyone in their usual roles. I’ll leave it to you to guess what those are!

Would you like to join me in a month of sketching portraits? I signed up for Sktchy’s 30 Faces/ 30 Days – April 2020  It’s a class where you get a video demo/lesson with different teachers every day of the month and can draw from the models they’ve chosen. I did it in January and learned so much! It’s also a way to experience the social connection with others by posting your work and and seeing others’ portraits.

Also you might really enjoy this article in the New York Times called The Quarantine Diaries about creative ways, including sketching/journaling, that people are finding to give shape to their experience of this historic pandemic time.

#30faces30days continues. . .

I think I’m getting addicted to painting faces, after 26 days this Sktchy challenge, which is also a course with different teachers and lessons every day. When I look at faces now I see minute variations in skin tones and am constantly mixing colors in my mind, while my fingers twitch in anticipation of sketching and my eyes can’t help but notice how the ears relate to the nose and eyes, etc., etc. I curl up on the sofa in the evening to draw and paint the muse (the picture which is one of thousands of available faces on Sktchy) of the day. Although it’s better to do all this with a live model, I’ll settle for Sktchy in the meantime!

The 30 days is almost over, and I feel like I’m just starting to get the hang of it. Here are some of the past few days’ sketches.

30faces19

Day 19 the lesson was to “let the light be your line” with teacher France Van Stone, who is a genius with graphite. But watercolor is my thing, so I made the point by slapping on some rich background negative painting at the end.

30faces23

(on gray toned paper) Lesson 23 was “Drawing Shadows with Minimal Lines”, with Patrtick Hochstenbach, but being a painter, once again, I went for color, dashed in some extra lines at the end, and really liked the effect.

30faces24 (on toned paper) Lesson 24, again with France Van Stone with graphite, was one of my favorites. I loved being told I didn’t have to finish everything and maybe it would be better if I didn’t!  And what a fabulous face to draw!

30faces25

(toned paper) Lesson 25 Lending Your Portrait a Hand with Margriet Aasman was challenging because I like drawing hands only slightly more than windows in a tall building, meaning not much. But Margriet makes you look at each joint and curve so you start to see how different each is. Nevertheless I think my impatience shows in the outcome here.

It’s all good though. Lots of good practice and learning to apply to the portrait project I’m working on at The Living Room these days. I’m up to about 17 portraits with stories now and will share move of them soon.