Another day at the Indianapolis Art Center, Sunday afternoon open model studio. Today was somewhat unusual in that for the first time in memory I completely ignored the model and didn’t even draw the other artists in the room. I knew who today’s model was and I knew I wasn’t all that interested in drawing him. Nothing at all against the model, he’s an excellent model, you’ve seen him on this blog many times. Many, many times. And while I acknowledge and understand the benefits gained by drawing from life, no matter how many times one has drawn the same person, there is always something new to see. And training the eye to accurately reproduce the distance between parts of the body, etc. to accomplish a pleasing result and a representational drawing or painting of the figure is invaluable.
Still, I ditched it today. But I didn’t ditch the class. I thought about it, but I didn’t. I took some photo reference of a British actor I’ve intended for a long time to caricature.
Why go to the class to do drawings I could have just as easily stayed home and done? For company. Social interaction. (On a limited scale, but that’s just me - I’m not that outgoing a person - never have been.) Many call it Fellowship. That’s a term that gets tossed out at church regularly. But I go to the IAC for my jolt of fellowship. In the general sense I get it from the 20+ other artists that sign up every session because we all share the love of drawing from life and the desire and need to hone our varying level of skills. More specifically I get it from another artist of similar desires and goals as mine. Scott Story is a comic book artist who publishes his Johnny Saturn comic on the web and as printed comics and graphic novels. When I’m sitting near Scott and I feel the need to lean over and whisper “I feel like I’m channeling Carmine Infantino today!” I don’t have to say anything else - he knows exactly what I’m talking about. He’s a little younger than me (but then these days I’m finding more people like that than the obverse!) but we share a common knowledge base of comics, films, TV and popular culture in general. We also share the knowledge of the pitfalls of being an artist. Today he asked me if I ever had days where I felt I just didn’t know how to draw. I responded with, “Not quite to that degree but I sometimes think of my ability to draw as a super power and there are days when I’m closer to the kryptonite!” Scott, and his lovely wife Benita, go to the Art Center on Sundays, and as long as he does and I can, I will.
Enough sentiment - this is Christopher Eccleston, the ninth Dr. Who.
Saturday evening I drew for two hours at a fund raiser in the downtown Westin Hotel.
This time I was invited to display my portrait and commission caricature work at a table where I was drawing the attendees.
I took my lovely wife and she took the photos allowing me a little more time to draw.
Thursday I was at the Indianapolis Convention Center drawing for Bucher & Christian in their booth along with Bob East. Thanks to Goofy Faces for booking me into this event.
I was pleased to be asked back to be a part of the second annual “Head to Toe” house party, this time put on to raise funds for breast cancer research (as well as to have a good time!).
This was an unusual booking in that a lot of the attendees had been there last year and gotten drawings of themselves, so this year the hostess suggested they bring photographs of others (people and pets) that they would like me to draw. Therefore I spent more time drawing from photographs than life. It allowed me to spend more time on each piece and gave me some interesting challenges (thanks Caidan!). When possible I photographed the photographs from which I was working, although for a few of these I was working from the back of digital cameras!
Guinea pigs, courtesy of Chef Caidan!
From the display on the back of a digital camera.
The hostess’ Papillon.
Today started out beautifully sunny and warm but by the time I went into the Art Center at 11:30 the sky was completely cloud-locked and by 1 we were listening to rain pound the roof with lots of thunder and lightning. Dirty weather didn’t affect the quality of the poses and the drawing.
A 15 minute pose, using the side of the large 2b lead to mass in the shapes using broad areas of tone.
Got the back but luckily the lighting provided a very interesting area of abdominal musculature that caught my interest.
Saturday I visited the local art supply store and bought a selection of thin line markers and a set of gray PITT brush markers. I used the grays to model the face, then added the bold outline. Paul McCall tries to do Adam Hughes, without the boobs and less than totally successful!