I am hunting for ducks — duck motifs. I love looking at ducks and sometimes, as the drawing above hints, they seem to love looking at me too. So it’s reciprocal.
Every so often a duck mood strikes me and I’ve got to draw ducks. Don’t know what it is about these guys that’s so mesmerizing.
I’ve been drawing the dog. I’ve been drawing lots of stuff. And I’m behind in my postings. But I’ve been having so much fun. Hope you’re doing the same. The drawing above is one of what I hope will be a series of Lucy drawings. My big painting has been on hold because of some household painting going on (painting the walls kind of painting rather than painting of pictures!). I’ve learned to use the spaces between spaces. Hence when I cannot do one kind of art, I do another kind.
Here’s some details.
Lucy’s face is wonderful to draw.
What I love about a motif like this one is the opportunities it offers for putting all kinds of color patches into the surroundings — even surprising colors like bright red or pale blue in small portions where the patches can enliven the whole color sensibility. There’s lots of chances to make little marks.
I work on the passages around the dog as much as I work on the dog — perhaps more so since there’s more not-dog here than dog.
The drawing is fairly largish — 24 x 18 inches drawn using Neopastel. It’s got a bit of tweaking still to go, but I have been photographing it regularly since the photographs help me see it better as a whole. Had to post it here because I’m so eager to share it!
Just hanging out this morning, drawing seashells. Seashells bring with them far away thoughts, oceanic messages. I look and listen.
The craggy, complex surfaces of the seashell are so mesmerizing and beautiful. It’s like a landscape of beautiful mountains. I never tire of drawing the seashells, studying their intricate forms. Master artists the little fellows who build these shell homes.
I decided to turn one of the seashell, ginger jar and honey pot drawings into a painting. And the first elements of the painting are blocked in.
But I have been unsure about aspects of the seashell, and since any excuse will do, I made the drawing at the top of the post as a study. It’s on Canson pastel paper, 16 x 12 inches and is drawn using Neopastels.
The drawing that forms the basis for the new painting is this one:
But I’ve also started drawing another version on the same size sheet (24 x 18 inches) in which the objects slightly smaller.
I work on the second version sometimes late at night. It gradually comes along. But though I felt this desire to do the second version, I knew I still wanted the objects to follow the size of the first drawing. So there are many versions. There’s also the drawing inside my brain, the one that is the neurological composite of the variations!
Another earlier version —
The pictures multiply ….
I am working on a third version of the seashell, ginger jar and honey pot picture. This one’s on 24 x 18 inch Strathmore pastel paper. I have been striving to get the relationships of the objects more accurate in this version. The objects are also slightly smaller than they are in the first version I made of this same size.
I think I like the larger objects better, and it’s probably the version I’ll use when I do the painting. But the relationships in this one are more careful. And it’s still in the works, of course ….
It’s hard for me to break out of a motif. I fall in love with the objects. Like Miles, I fall in love too easily ….
History of the motif below:
Version one: 24 x 18 Neopastel on Strathmore Pastel paper; version two: 16 x 12 Sennelier on Arches Oil paper.
Drawing two oranges on the still life table this morning using oil pastel, looking for color changes and for ideas about how to complicate the passage of the Big Painting that has the two oranges in the foreground.
I had it on my “to do” list to make a study and I think I’ll make some more. I am just looking at color passages, exaggerating some of them, thinking about my pal Bonnard.
Sometimes for fun, or just to get started for the day, I’ll do quick drawings in Neopastel. This time it was apples. To add to the fun — and for my own perceptual interest — I also drew without my glasses. I have fairly profound myopia. It’s interesting to observe the much more generalized forms of things as they appear in my uncorrected vision. Color looks a bit different too. Not that it changes hue or anything. It’s just that it gets similarly clumped into masses, ones that are a bit different from what I see when the acuity is there.
This second one I did very quickly, without glasses. I had to get up for something going on in another room of the house. When I returned the light was completely changed. Sometimes it changes very quickly. So it’s en plein indoor drawing — one deals with all the fluctuations.
And then there was one!
Seashell, ginger jar and honey pot on a blue cloth: my sort of art heaven. I had to do another version of the motif because that seems to be who I am. Edgar Degas hypnotized me when he said “il faut refaire la même chose dix fois, cent fois.” [You must redo the same thing ten times, a hundred times.] Now I’m like a Degas Robot who redraws stuff ….
Well, there’s worse things that could happen to an artist. The earlier one which I repost further below was drawn using Neopastels on an 24 x 18 inch page of Strathmore pastel paper. The one above was made on a 16 x 12 inch sheet of Arches Oil Paper using Sennelier oil pastels. It’s very gooey. Particularly as the sticks of oil pastel are old. Lots of impasto in it, as you can see in the detail here:
And here’s the larger antecedent picture —
[The little square in the top middle of the uppermost image is the shadow from the easel hinge. Oopsie! Gotta rephotograph that one sometime or other …]
I get my ideas from the still life table. Here’s one of my favorite things to do — pull out favorite objects, set them on the table, start drawing.
Usually I draw the same motif over and over. I am loving this motif so much I think it’s destiny that I draw it again. But I am trying to train myself to reshape the set up regularly and do faster drawings of different arrangements for the sake of the variety.
The above is 24 x 18 inches on Strathmore 400 series pastel paper using Caran d’Ache Neopastels. Seashell, ginger jar and honey pot, with a bit of blue compotier peeking in from the left.
An easily distracted artist like myself needs some forms of entertainment so I set up my plein air easel and drew this landscape on a 24 x 18 inch sheet (Strathmore 400 pastel paper) using Neopastels.
I did my plein air indoors — at the window — because — MOSQUITOES! Even Accuweather reported yesterday that the mosquito situation in Washington DC was intense given our recent weather.
Our weather has been lovely and mild too. You’d think that mosquitoes would give us a break.
Anyway, I had difficulty actually seeing the whole scene I wanted to draw — long story — so I decided — what the heck — throw all caution to the wind — I took off my glasses, drew with my left hand.
I kind of like the wacko gestural effect …