Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"Draw and Discover" at Luce Foundation Center

One of the biggest treats about being in Washington DC is the first-class art, and first-class art experiences.  This post is about the latter, as I am not necessarily enthralled with this painting....though, by the end of this post, you will see I have a greater appreciation of it than I did before.  It is called "Pioneers of the West" and it is by Helen Lunderberg.  She painted it in 1934...I think it definitely shows that era.  She was a WPA artist and later moved to abstractions and hard edges.  This particular painting is about 40" x 50" and shown in the Luce Center in one of their many glass display cases.  It is interesting....it is not really in the galleries, and is part of the permanent collection that they have elected to keep on display in a special case.  I should make another post about that space because it is amazing.

So...back to me.  I went to the Luce Center at 2:30 today to join the sketching group.  It happens every Tuesday afternoon.  If you are in DC and are an artist, I HIGHLY recommend it.  Today's assignment (about 20 artists participating) was to find a painting and then demonstrate how it meets a one-point perspective of drawing.  I thought this was easy, but there are actually many perspectives in the painting I chose.  It turns out most of us had that same problem.

However I gave it a good shot, and this is my result.

I know, it is not very impressive.  I kind of forced the perspective...more than the artist who made the painting.  I learned something important, though, about thinking about where you are encouraging the viewer to look.  Nearly everyone today had a problem with this particular exercise.

I am not impressed with my sketch, though the class consensus was that I got it "right" in terms of perspective.  I think this is a good thing to think about, especially in landscapes.  BTW, I go kudos from the museum staff on the gestures of the figures.  I was the only student who "took on" this painting.

I would do this again!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Channeling Roy Lichtenstein

Last night in drawing class my assignment was to do a self portrait in the style of Roy Lichtenstein.  It was so much fun!   This is about 15" x 15" in size.  I am thinking about adding some color, but thought I'd post this first.   Last drawing class for awhile.  It has been fun.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Nieghborhood sketch ready to show

My neighborhood drawing framed and "ready to show" at Shaw.  It seems to have a sepia tone in the front left plantings and I am not sure why, or why that area shows as so dark.  Bad photograph.  It is a decent drawing.  I had to deal with the smudges and so I just smudged everything and went back and erased the whites.   Then I had to do some touch-ups.  

I may never do this type of thing again, but it was kind of fun and it does show typical buildings in my neighborhood.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I actually did this a couple of weeks ago, but have had a lot of trouble getting a good picture.   It's still not great, but I am going with it.  So, this was an hour's work of sketching a few buildings near the art workshop (Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, or CHAW), where I am taking my drawing class. This scene is actually only a half block from my home.   I am so close to CHAW and love that.  Our assignment was to draw some buildings from the grounds of CHAW.  I kind of like what I did, but really want to do more with this drawng. My mission was to tell about the arched doorway and I think at this point it is about the garlands on the buiding that is nearer.  I will work more on this one because I am generally happy with the progress and also because I need to do what I set out to do and focus on that lovely arch.  Architectural drawing is a challenge, but I have already have someone in my house who recognizes the specific buildings I was drawing, and that is a big reward.

Saturday, May 10, 2014


This drawing is from last week.  I couldn't post it then because I was a little disappointed and left it behind.  When I saw it again a week later, I kind of liked it, and so did my teacher Carolina.  Now it is on the bulletin board where we post work...work we like.  It is very "wonky" because it is a charcoal contour drawing.   For those who don't know, contour drawing is supposed to be more looking at the subject than looking at the object (or person...or whatever) being drawn.  That means that sometimes the lines don't actually match what is being drawn.  If you haven't tried it, I think you should.   To me, this drawing captures the "spirit" of the blender, and the push buttons are hilarious, and make me want to push them.  It was preliminary to an exercise that I feel I failed.

We were supposed to do a drawing that would be surreal, and would include a blender and some portions of the drawing studio interior.  I attempted to show two blenders dancing on pillows.  That would, of course, have created havoc when they were "turned on."  I failed so completely that I do not want to show my attempt and I will not try to complete it.  However, I am happy with this blender, though I would make some adjustments if I wanted to turn it into a painting.  /actually, I am happy to just let it be.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Carolina's Boots

Last week we worked on drawing the teacher's boots.  It seems like a simple subject, but it was very challenging!  I feel like I want to complete it, but don't know if I will.  I would have to work from a photograph, and I have come to hate doing that.  My teacher, by the way, is Carolina Mayorga.  She pushes us to be accurate in the drawings.  The darks are from graphite, which I dampened.

It took me almost a week to post this because I have had company, which has been lots of fun.  If I do any more work on this, I will post it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Drawing class Week 2

This was my second week of drawing class at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop.  Last week we did a one-hour drawing of a cardboard box, and I didn't post that because I thought it was dull...but the drawing process was good and challenged us on perspective and texture.  I posted my first gesture drawing of some flowers instead, and.I was happy with that.

This week's one-hour drawings were of yarn or cord.  I chose a ball of yarn, but was thinking---another boring project!  Why did I sign on for this?  I mean, I can do it--but why?  I made a little loop on the front to at least add some interest and then set to work because that is what I was there for.

Well, by the end of the class I have a whole new attitude about drawing yarn.  I am not completely satisfied with this drawing, and would have needed a few more hours to finish it.  I may have overworked it.  As it was, I chose to give the loop emphasis and to briefly sketch the rest.  With more time, I may have built more of a diagonal leading to the loop.  I am very happy with the appearance I was able to get of the softness of the yarn itself....so, with more time, I may have instead softened the specific threads around the loop.  Lots to think about.  Drawing yarn is not boring, and I am happy to get back into drawing!  By the way, size is 18" x 24," so it is pretty big for a drawing of a ball of yarn.