Last Friday, our Sketch Club reconvened at Daphne's in Culver City. The cold weather brought out some fun fashion choices for us to capture. Omar lent me his travel watercolor kit and I took up the challenge. These two ladies took about 10 minutes each to capture.
While these pieces were works-in-progress at my desk, I must admit that I was pretty surprised by how many of my young colleagues at the animation studio could not name the titles of the movies from which these images were drawn.
Can you identify them?
Hint: The director and I share the same birthday - as does Paul Greengrass.
Another excuse to spend the afternoon in one of the most beautiful garden spots I've ever visited, I jumped at the chance to take Cynthia, my Little Sister (she's just finishing 6th grade), to take part in the Plein Air Drawing Class taught by the wonderful Ellie who armed us with water soluble oil pastels (I didn't know these even existed), water-filled brush pens, and paper and set us free to explore...
Here's what Cynthia drew:
I think we have a young Hockney on our hands!
Mine is of the roses from Madagascar:
If only I could have drawn their lovely fragrance. No need to bend to smell the blooms, their perfume kept wafting toward me on the breeze as I sketched. Such a perfect day.
A few weeks ago. I tagged along with Gwen & Chas Garabedian and Rhonda Magnus to "Thresholds: The Scandals of 1912-13," one of the Jacaranda series of concerts at First Presbyterian Santa Monica. We had the joy of seeing and hearing Julia Migenes perform Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire. It did not take long after the music started for us to get sketching. I had forgotten to bring anything to draw with, so I grabbed a golf pencil out of the pew. I wish I had Chas' sketches to share. His were far more expressive and better than mine...
Sketches of Julia within Giraud's verses
Pamela Vliek Martchev, the flutist, wore a striking period costume
Last night, I finally made it to the Hammer Museum to see the Rembrandts there. It has been more than a year since I've made an entry into my sketch collection of Rembrandts. Oh the shame of it. On top of that, I have to admit that I've misplaced the sketchbook I was trying to fill with them all. Ah well, I'll just have to draw them again. More practice for me.
Back at the Hammer...as I arrived I inquired at the desk where I might be able to find the Rembrandts. The women there weren't sure whether there were any in the permanent collection and if so, whether they would actually be on display. With the charge to look up in Gallery V, I was off. Far from a disappointment, I found two gorgeous portraits up there. I chose the Portrait of a Man Holding a Hat to sketch on this trip as the lovely velvet settee before it was calling my name.
As fate would have it, the guard in that gallery is an artist himself. He took quite an interest in the progress of my sketch and was sweetly effusive in his praise for it. I like to think that Rembrandt would be infinitely pleased to know that 374 years after its creation, a fellow artist is guarding the safety of the physical fruits of his genius.
On the last day of class, we were joined by a life drawing model, Keith, who bravely walked into the galleries with us and posed (in surf shorts) next to the Getty Kouros and the Lansdowne Heracles so that we could compare the sculptors' idealized depictions with the real thing.
Blind Contour Drawings (7 minutes)
Then it was back to classroom to
play. Ellie walked us through an exercise in blind contour drawing -
something I hadn't touched since high school. The results were humbling yet truly liberating.
Contour Drawing (15 minutes)
we finally got to look at the paper as we drew,
and could actually feel the transitions between the forms as I drew
Gesture Sketches (1.5 minutes)
The next challenge was a jump into gesture sketches - only a minute and a half to get everything!
Life Drawing (15 minutes)
For the final pose, which was somewhat bittersweet because we really didn't want this class to end, Ellie encouraged us to incorporate all the exercises into our work. I grabbed my drawing board, settled into a spot on the floor, and just played.
I'm grateful to Ellie Adamian for her sensitive, detailed, and playful instruction and to Audrey and Cinithia who made sure we had anything we needed. If you ever have the chance to take a class at the Getty Villa, don't think twice about it. Zip on up PCH and bask in the sunshine and inspiration.
This week's focus was on anatomy. We started back in the galleries and took twenty minutes to draw the Getty Athlete. And then it was back to the classroom to study the bones of the skeleton and apply that knowledge by sketching where it would lie beneath our sketch:
The day's last assignment was - and this was a first for me - to sketch the skeleton itself in a contrapposto pose:
Saturday afternoon, I began a three-part course at the Getty Villa: "Drawing the Masculine Ideal". So lovely to be spending time with my Greeks again. I believe this is the first time I've ever drawn an Archaic Smile.
My friend, Mike, came back from a photographic expedition to the Artic a few weeks ago to recount colorful tails of the wildlife up there - human and otherwise. Polar bears and pine martens have been cavorting about in my head ever since.