Little sketches

doll drawings

We dropped by the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, earlier today to watch Teresa Oaxaca demonstrate her manner of drawing with charcoal.  While she drew I made a few sketches of her set up. I learned afterwards that she had made the doll I drew herself (there were two dolls in her set up): she had sculpted the doll’s face herself.

Here’s another:

doll face 3 (2)


Blue study still life, first thoughts

blue still life (2)

I have a still life that I set up so that I could better study the color blue.  It’s been sitting there for a while, and last night for the first time I decided to begin drawing from it.  The pastel above is the first attempt.  Objects in this drawing are a little larger than life size.  While I was working I got confused about the sizes of some of the objects relative to each other so I used passages of color to think myself through the drawing questions. Because I’m still sorting through the drawing questions, I have not really begun using it to study blue in earnest.  But the color questions as well as the drawing questions are ones that I begin thinking about with this first drawing.  It’s like reading through a new piece of music.  On the first read, you don’t worry about every note; instead you just want to get through it from beginning to end and hear how it sounds.

blue still life from memory (3).jpg

This morning while I was waiting somewhere I drew the still life from memory.  I was so proud of myself, supposing that I had remembered all the still life items.  It was only after I got home and compared the memory drawing with last night’s pastel drawing that I discovered I had forgotten the dome-shaped dark blue bottle.  How on earth did I forget it?  It’s a favorite, beloved object, one that I’ve portrayed many times.  But today in my mind as I sketched, it disappeared down the rabbit hole.

The violet colored pastel paper complicates the whole business of “studying blue,” but even when doing this as an exercise I find I want to add on other elements. And I am “studying blue” as another way of thinking about my koi paintings. And thus still life painting can sometimes help solve visual questions that pertain to other genres.