Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Griffin in the glow

I think my favorite after-trip image is the griffin. He's such a cool mix of powers--clawed strength, flight, and serpent's lash.

Tech pen and Daniel Smith w/c on Strathmore Aquarius II paper--the mix of cotton and synthetic that cockles very little. It stays almost soft, a bit like painting on fabric. I'm liking it more and more, though I can only buy it online.

Definitely the paper I'll use for my next custom-made (coptic-bound) sketchbook.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

And now, drawing from memory

This is an imagined scene. My hand, the Michael statue, and church stonework: reassembled.

After I draw a thing on site, I like to use it in imagined scenes, sealing the shapes into my memory so that I can draw them anytime with fresh lines.

Tech pen and w/c, of course!

on the plane home

Love those blue Air France seats! Did the woman in seat 26F have as good a time in France as I did? I'll bet she doesn't have nearly 100 sketches for souvenirs.

feet in the airport, leaving Paris

It's so much easier to avoid notice by my subjects when I draw their feet.

On the right side, those socks are much more colorful than the originals. Though one subject's socks (not posted) were bright orange and red. All the rest of his clothes, glasses, and hat were black. Fun to catch a glimpse of his colorful side!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Two more churches

This structure stands at one end of the upstairs space at Saint Chapelle, the church on the Isle de la Cité with the fabulous walls of stained glass.

While drawing this (instead of attempting a sketch of the stained glass), I saw what I'd not have seen otherwise, the tiny lizard creatures crawling head down at the corners.

Tech pen in the W/N sketchbook.

In Orsay, this blue-doored church was our landmark for navigating the main shopping streets. The central structure of it was built in 1200.

There has been a settlement on this site on the Yvette River since 999.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Notre Dame, Paris

We spent about 2 hours roaming inside Notre Dame and I drew a lot of little items.

(Scanned with the setting on color.)

Suddenly bells rang and three priests came out to celebrate Mass. I happened to be sitting to the side behind a small candlestand and was able to draw the priest at the lectern.

Those tall candles were on thin supports that swayed a lot when, later, someone snuffed the candles.

Tech pen in W/N sketchbook. Scanned in grayscale, taking away that blue cast. Still learning about the software side of art.

Fun signs

Wandering the area around the Centre de Pompidou, near the Quartier des Horloges, I saw this comix bookstore.

This is a simplified version of their sign. The way they spelled Heroes caught my eye--Heros--who is actually a mythical god.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

This was the brasserie next to the train station closest to our B&B. I had tea there several times. The teapots were bright yellow and the hanging lampshades really were orange and yellow. The owner had his little dog there, as in most French restaurants, and it was a great place to hang out and draw.

Done in the sketchbook.

This was the wall and steps to the left of the Maison des Associations, posted earlier. Quickly drawn and colored on the spot, in spite of chilly air and a hard bench. Landscapes are not my thing.

Done on loose Aquabee sketchpaper. It's that blue wash again, too!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The starting point

In the square in front of Notre Dame is Point Zero, the beginning point of French distance measurements. The center is shiny copper, not accurately captured in a quick yellow wash, unfortunately.

Tech pen and Aquabee sketchpaper.

Drawing in the Musee d'Orsay

Usually the problem with sketching on site is the moving subject. For these, though, the problem was a continuous flow of people in the walkway between me and the statues, blocking my view.

And I wondered about the model for Schoenewerk, who had to hold that awkward head-down pose for HOW long?

Pen and shading wash in the W/N sketchbook.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Parked near the Jardin des Tuilleries

The tiny vehicles of Europe are endlessly fascinating, and so much smarter than our behemoth gas-slurpers!

The hill wasn't this steep, though some are. Just one wheel and a metal stand touching the pavement!

Same process as the previous sketches.

Paris statues

Archangel Michael, outside Saint Chappelle in Paris. I think he used to be on the roof, now he's braced upright on the ground.

He can fly off if he wants to, of course. He held still for me here.

Tech pen and wash on Aquabee sketchpaper.

A statue in the Latin Quarter, just off the Blvd. St. Germain des Pres.

I guess he's a griffin, but the ones I've seen before have lion legs. Does anyone know what you call a flying snake/lion?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Alimentation Generale in Orsay

Outside this food shop in Orsay, against the shiny tiled wall, hung glowing fruit and vegetables from black office paper clamps.

Fantasy foot

Random doodle.

Don't know about those toes. They don't belong to me. Do stable ballerinas have toes like that?

Ink and w/c on Aquabee sketch paper, with light leaking into the scanner.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Blue washes in Orsay

When I started with the roof of this Maison des Associations in the little town where we stayed, I was focused and warm. As I got colder (weather overcast and chilly), the bench got harder, and I got bored with architectural drawing, I really lost interest by the time I got down to the ground floor.

Good thing it wasn't a taller building!

Ink and wash on 90# w/c paper.

In Paris we'd seen a gallery with beautiful line drawings backed by a swoosh of color. So I came home and rendered my water bottle.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The rest of us on the train

Carol, done in 3 stops before we had to get off. Six minutes means fast hair and simple shapes. That's my excuse! And I don't think her nose is right at all.

Tech pen. I don't do any pre-marking or drawing with a pencil. I like the uncertainty and the serendipity of what emerges. My subjects might not!

Jim looking down, and on a separate drawing, what he was looking at, writing in his Moleskine.

In the Picasso museum we saw this same layout, using one sheet of paper for the head, another crosswise piece for the torso. Better than squeezing it all on one, Picasso and I say.

The head scan was with "color" and the hands with "grayscale." The paper doesn't have a blue-cast except where I added paint.

My enabler

The French RER train has a smoother ride than most, but added various squiggles to all the train drawings. When Jan looked at this, she said, "Yuck!" and we all agreed I put her eyes too close together.

But she knows she's more beautiful than this and that I need a lot of practice, so it's ok.

Tech pen in W/N sketchbook, light shading and earring color added later with w/c.

Stalking my subject

This man was far ahead of us in the Air France line, checking in at Logan, but we all noticed his unusual ears. Then he was in the waiting area and Jan started to say, "You have to draw him."

After a long plane ride, we were all standing in the aisles waiting to deplane and he was across the center seat section from us. "Draw him!" said Jan.

So I pulled out a tiny square of w/c paper (stockpiled for just these reasons) and quickly captured his profile. Later I put in the graphite background.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

First tea in Paris

I had to record the squarish cup with the circular opening. In tech pen, colored in (gray counts, I say) with water-soluble graphite.

Being with 3 or 4 other people meant we kept moving most of the time. I did nearly all the sketches in 10 minutes or less. Sometimes they were done in the interval of 3 or 4 train stops on the RER into Paris.

That's my excuse . . .

Taking off

The man across the aisle talking on his Blackberry before leaving for Paris. I knew I had to incorporate drawing into the trip immediately to make sure it became a daily activity.

I used the W/N sketchbook (pictured several weeks ago) and either Staedtler or Faber Castell tech pens for nearly all drawings and adding one color to capture the eye.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Jetlagged Jack

His eyes show his jetlag or else he's still under the influence of Picasso from visiting the Paris museum.

Tech pen and Daniel Smith lapis watercolor on Aquabee sketch paper.

Monday, November 14, 2005

back with a full sketchbook

Home with hundreds of photos, great memories and a full sketchbook. Selective scans coming soon; I've just put my bags down.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

more drawing in Paris

Still no scans, but drawing pictures of our group in the train to and from Paris, items in Chartres Cathedral, and two scenes in the park of Orsay. Have dropped the paints and gone to fast sketches as we keep moving.

The most fun was drawing in the Musee d'Orsay and the Centre Pompidou with other sketchers everywhere throughout the museums. I copied one of Picasso's sketches from 1931 in his museum. Filling up my Winsor/Newton notebook, as pictured earlier.

To Paris again tomorrow, to Saint Chapelle and Notre Dame on a French national holiday. Hope the artists are out on the streets along the Seine.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Drawing in France

Doing ink drawings of people and objects as we criss-cross Paris, but have no scanning equipment here. Only to say it's fabulous here, the Musee d'Orsay was wonderful, and the wine and cheese are worth the trip! The Eiffel Tower tonight was a highlight of the trip so far.

7 more days to go. Oooo, la la!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Halloween hangover

Doodling an abstract after the packing, before the plane to Paris. Don't know which way is up, or what this means. Doesn't matter.

Process: water-soluble Derwent graphite, permanent pen, and gouache on 90# paper.