Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Choosing the Angle

This was a longer pose - maybe an hour and a half, but I didn't take the full time.  I did the upper drawing first and then did a walk around to see what the other participants were up to.  That's when I realized that the straight-on view was a little static and repositioned to do the lower drawing, which I think was a more interesting angle. I could probably have had more fun with the foreshortening, even exaggerating the size of the feet.

Something to remember for next time.


10 and 20 Minute Poses

As much as I like the short gesture poses, it is nice to have a few more minutes to draw the whole figure and even add some colour.  In keeping with my training for urban sketching, given more time and I'm likely to start again from a different angle, or even draw the drawers.




Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Life Drawing - Gestures

I don't know why its called "life drawing", but drawing naked models has long been considered the best way to learn to draw.  Maybe its because our human brains are so trained to judge the visual proportions of a person and we innately know when its accurate, as opposed to a building or landscape, which if unknown, can look credible.

My interest is urban sketching and I try to be evocative rather than precise.  So, in last weekends life drawing workshop, I stood with a small notebook and my trusty Lamy fountain pen, as standing  and going straight to ink yields more energetic drawings.  When I sit, my drawings tend to become overly detailed and stiff, and some people even say that standing is a more representative point of view of how we experience urban spaces.

 These contour drawings were some of the warm up sketches - 2 minutes each, which is why the model could hold such dramatic poses.  These short "gestures" are my favourite, as it's really fun.  And also because, I'm less interested and patient to work on detailed studies, although I would like to do more portraits and it's an excellent opportunity to practice hands and feet, which are really difficult to get right.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Floating Over the Room

I've been playing with aerial views and one-point perspectives looking down on urban spaces, so thought I'd draw the whole room this way during a 2 hour life drawing pose.

This is  an interesting way to study and record a place, as you must look beyond what you can see from one static, point of view.  It's drawing what you see, but not the way you see it, with the exception of myself, of course.


Drawing the Drawers

"No one told me I was supposed to just draw the nude guy."

I love the short warm-up gestures and shorter poses, but am less interested in complete careful drawings on the poses over an hour in length, when life drawing.   And more and more, I prefer to just go straight to ink, rather than blocking out first with pencil. So, in the fine tradition of Urban Sketchers, I decided to entertain myself by drawing the drawers.  As much as studying the model improves my drawing, the participants are generally quite still, and like people in a coffee shop, if the move, inevitably, they go back to  the previous position.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Expanding my horizons

Last week I attended a lecture supporting an exhibition by the Organization of Kingston Women Artists (OKWA) in the Steam Museum.   Its' a high quality mix of work around the theme of " A Sense of Place".  The "place" being Kingston.


I was quite taken by an abstract painting by Caroline Marshall  which uses very subtle colours with a flat (matte) finish and deep fissures.  I was very interested to hear her describe her working methods and techniques of layering and using cold wax.

One of the other delightful paintings was called "Pandemonium", by Mary Peppard.  It depicts a woman feeding the birds on the shore of Lake Ontario by the Celtic cross memorial to the Irish workers who died building the Rideau Canal with the wind towers across the bay on Wolfe Island in the background.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Friday, 15 April 2016

Kingston Marina

I always love a boatyard and they are especially interesting off-season with the boats up on "the hard".  Kingston Marina is a real working yard with venerable sailboats, tour boats and a variety of fire boats and new stainless steel working craft - patrol and rescue boats, rigid inflatables and the like - manufactured right there in the harbour at Metalcraft Marine.  I'd give my eye teeth to have a real good rip in any of their boats, no matter what the sea state.

The upper sketch is an old folkboat, a small seaworthy, full-keeled, little boat that has been around the world. What's unusual, is that it has no auxiliary engine. Luckily, on a windless day, it's small enough to move with a paddle, as one old timer told me that's how it arrived here in the marina.

The three legged, stationary crane in the lower sketch
was designed as 150 ton capacity when it was one of the four used to build the Thousand Island Bridge, but has been downgraded to 75 tons in its old age.








Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Spring Street Methodist Church

There are five or six very nice churches in Westport,  a charming village on Big Rideau Lake.  I'm always taken with the big dreams and level of effort that the people in these small towns had in building not just churches, but also impressive town halls and schools in these fledgling 19th century Ontario towns.  That, and the divisions between denominations, which compared to the cultural diversity in Canada today seem trivial.

This elegant brick church struck me as unusual as the taller tower, which is on the corner of the block, is at 45 degrees to the main building.  It also has three main doors and I understand a sloped (theatre) floor, so I'm curious to take a peak inside sometime.

It was built in 1889 as a Methodist Church, but in the Church Union, when the Canadian Methodists,  and  Presbyterians merged, it would have been renamed as a United Church.  Interestingly, there is also an active Presbyterian congregation in Westport - one of the third that declined merging in 1925.