Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sketches from Rome II

Guest Artist: Abby's Sketches from Piazza S. Pietro

Welcome to Abby's Korner! This is my dad drawing pictures at Saint Peter's. The next one up is my Mom messing with her camera. On the top, you can see my Mom, Sophie and I all together. I'm smiling in the front because Mom is taking a picture of Sophie and not me this time:)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Sculpture

My last session of the summer, I decided to drop the pencil and paintbrush and get my hands dirty. I joined my other two colleagues in sculpting our gracious model. It's the first sculpture in clay I've done, I'm used to microwax. The silkiness and suppleness of the medium is great fun to work with. You can't get as fine as detail as you can with wax, but the building process is much more tactically enjoyable. With wax, you're working with heat, flame and tools more. Clay is kid's stuff--gettin' the hands all muddy. Unfortunately, the finished products don't stay together very well after they've dried--super fragile. This scultpure has since crumbled into a few different pieces. Oh, the evanescence of art...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I'm giving watercolors some more time lately. The painting up top is mixed media: a pencil sketch with a watercolor wash over top, later touched up with color pencil. It's hard to get used to the diffused nature of the medium (especially coming from oils), but I'm fascinated with all the different effects that can occur. The one-line sketch below was done during the last couple minutes of class.

Friday, June 5, 2009


So, I've decided to turn my materials onto the family. I finally broke out this amazing set of colored pencils Jenny got me when we first got married. Sophia was my first victim. Man, she's a cutie.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Back in the Studio--Charcoals

I like the messiness and stark contrasts of charcoals. Today, I'm on hiatus from color and back to the basics of line, perspective and value. The model was so comfortable, we never even took a break in the whole two hours. Apparently reclining postures are good for all around. It's nice to be back in the Saturday studio.

Monday, May 4, 2009


I'm in Beijing doing some research until May 15. I'll pick back up when I return.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I'm learning the art of watercolor painting in the studio, now--mostly by trial and error. It is much different from the oil technique I've grown up with, but I'm really enjoying it. The subtleties and uncertainties of the medium are really surprising and aesthetically intriguing. Water and pigment kind of do their own thing sometimes. But that's precisely the medium's charm. I'm really liking it. The first painting is of the model takin' a nap and the second one an exercise done at home from a sepia photograph of Abby.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Fred's Back

I feel much more comfortable and confident doing male models. Strange. Must be that my drawing technique favors hulky, cut figures. I do prefer shapes and lines over soft shading and curves. Possible explanation. Freud might have a different one, though. Anywho..., this week I was determined to construct a complete compisition within the frame of one page. I am very happy with the results. I usually zero in and have a difficult time getting the whole picture in view. I'm now training my eye to work more telescopically. I also did a quick sketch with pastel colors. Every little bit helps in familiarizing myself with the mysteries of ROYGBIV.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Back to the Drawing Board

A new session has begun at the Creative Oasis where I draw, and I've decided to tackle the thorny issue of color. Colorology is a totally distinct, complex science. Sketching in monochrome is one thing, but adding color is a whole other issue. I've always been fascinated with color but never quite got it. In the next few weeks, I'll begin my journey to learn how to use it. The piece here was done in pastels (another medium I find intriguing but don't have a good handle on). I'm having a particular difficult time applying color to the skin, trying to avoid making it look too flat or too colorful (where it ends up looking like fabric instead of flesh). The monochrome one-line sketch was done at the end of the session to give my eyes a break (and restore some confidence and control:)). I did another black and white sketch, but my scanner pooped out on me. Anyway, there they are

Saturday, March 14, 2009

New Pics

So...I haven't posted for a couple of weeks because we've been traveling on the weekends--skipping art class. A new low, I know. Anyway, I was pleased to see a new model in the studio today. She presented a whole new anatomy of forms and poses (pardon the pun). It was nice. Men's complex musculature doesn't quite provide the same satisfaction that a curvy female form does.

This time around I decided to exercise a different section of my artistic mind. Instead of aggravating my already feverish penchant for detail and perfection by focusing on one piece, for this session I elected to use a variety of different sketching methods from a number of different angles. The sketches are thus more unfinished but at the same time more suggestive, having lasted at the most 15-20min. The continuous line sketches (that's right, no unbroken lines--like a long spaghetti noodle) actually lasted about a minute or so.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Male Model's Back

Any grammatical way you look at that title it works (after all, it "is" "his" back). Which brings me to something else: I've decided to call our male friend "Fred." "Fred" was supposed to be replaced by "Sally" today. But apparently something came up. So we did a side of "Fred" we've never seen before: the backside. I reckon Mom would've liked this one. As interesting as it is to sketch good ol' "Fred," though, I'm looking forward to softer-fleshed "Sally." She should be showing up in the next couple of weeks. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Back to the Drawing Board

This standing pose with full lighting was a bit more challenging. It becomes more difficult to pick up differences in tone and keep the whole model in view. A good challenge...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Back to the Drawing Board

Jenny, in all her infinite wisdom, decided that what I needed for Christmas was an art class. Something to get me back doing something I truly love and that is truly relaxing (all types of reading have essentially been ruled out as pass-times for me). So, I signed up for a figure-drawing, sculpting class at the local art studio and my first session was today. It was great. Above are two sketches from magazines I did this week at home to warm me back up for creative work. The one below is a rendition of the live model in the studio today. I very much enjoyed it and am looking forward to future sessions to hone my skills and to ease my nerves. 'Till next week...