Back to school again!

It feel good to be back in “school” again.  Signed up for a 15 week programme at the Vibhavi Academy of Fine Arts (VAFA) and enjoying every minute of it.  Chandraguptha Thenuwara is a great teacher, simple, easy to understand explanations and gives access to great depth of knowledge freely.  The effort below is from my first class where I was making an attempt at capturing a still life setting.  An understanding of perspective, foreshortening is amongst the things that I’d hoped I’d pick up on my own over the last two years but I guess this is the easier way!   Plus a class will ensure that I measure instead of just eyeballing the distances, angles and sizes cause that’s one place where I’m messing up! : )

s1 at vafa

The Life Drawing sessions at Sapumal continue and i hope these Sunday drawings will see some progress based on the inputs I’m getting in the Saturday class.

12 (17) - ld at sapumal

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At 100 I shall be a marvellous artist


Cast several lines and hopefully despite turbulent weather you’ll have a catch!

“From the age of six I had a mania for drawing the shapes of things. When I was fifty I had published a universe of designs. but all I have done before the the age of seventy is not worth bothering with. At seventy five I’ll have learned something of the pattern of nature, of animals, of plants, of trees, birds, fish and insects. When I am eighty you will see real progress. At ninety I shall have cut my way deeply into the mystery of life itself. At a hundred I shall be a marvelous artist. At a hundred and ten everything I create; a dot, a line, will jump to life as never before. To all of you who are going to live as long as I do, I promise to keep my word. I am writing this in my old age. I used to call myself Hokosai, but today I sign my self ‘The Old Man Mad About Drawing.” Hokusai

Every time I come across this quote it makes me happy.  It reminds me that drawing and painting are interests where the scope for improvement and learning is endless.  And when I came across it again recently it helped me redouble my efforts in thinking up ways to get rid of an old friend, who has overstayed his visit – Procrastination.  While I may not be sitting down to draw or paint everyday these are activities I think about daily, more so on days when I dont pick up that pen or brush.  I’ve been feeling guilty.  I believe both are common when you’re procrastinating.

31 Emily O'Marra

I’m putting up a fight and trying to push my friend out the door.  I’ve added two more portraits to Julia Kay’s portrait party collection.  Came across a post on Lines and Colors about a new weekly column on drawing on NY Times that I hope to follow.  There are some exercises on colour and values that are awaiting attention.  I hope one/all of these will make me forget the reasons that’ve kept this friend here.  Another friend earlier today told me to get off the pity potty and get on with it!  So here I am with this drawing from a couple of days back and the long overdue post.

Portrait Party over at Flickr

Julia Kay’s hosted a Portrait Party over at Flickr and my painting has come to a halt : )  I have done a few portrait swaps in the past, for Rama Hughes blog, The Portrait Party , the annual Portrait swap at WetCanvas and more recently the ones organized by Karin Jurick.  But in terms of sheer number of people participating with one another, none were in the league of the current party that I’ve jumped in to.

24 steve huison

I’d first read about them on Rama Hughes blog where he had written about how his family used to throw Portrait Parties and draw each other.   He’d suggested others organise their own.  For me it seemed out of the question as I couldn’t imagine being able to round up a party worth of guests who’d be willing to spend an evening drawing portraits or posing for each other : )

11 Giorgio Bordin

And then along came Julia Kay with this brilliant idea to throw one on Flickr.

18 art informel

There are 260 members at a party which will continue for as long as you want it to.   I’ve made 24 portraits so far and have had 16 of made of me.  Have a look at the wonderful portraits being exchanged on flickr by this group.

Flickr Portrait Party

Tip : Spot the Flaws with Flipped Images

Here’s a tip on using your computer to spot your drawing/painting flaws.  I was too lazy to grab my camera and take photos of two recent drawings that i did and used the webcam and Photo Booth instead.  What i got was the images reversed and what I saw was a whole bunch of flaws glaring back at me 😀  This is another tool that I will use to spot mistakes in future.  I’ve put a the two examples side by side for you to see.  The first in each set is how you would view it and the second the mirror image.

Photo Booth flipped 1

2nd attempt flipped 2

Didn’t want to go around holding paintings in front of my laptop webcam and googled only to be reminded that flipping images is easy on a mac 😛  Use Preview and use the Flip Horizontal command under the Tools Menu and off you go.  The two below are of a portrait that was started recently.
no name - wip flipped

Fierce : Illustration Friday

Fierce or menacing? You choose.

pen & ink

pen & ink (ballpoint) in my sketchbook.

photo ref copyright Anil Advani. used with permission.

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Check out many more interpretations on        

Every day can’t be a Sunday

The Art Group met at my home this morning. Having recently read about How to throw a Portrait Party we decided to try it out while waiting for the others to arrive. The first one is a 2 minute pose and the second a 5. Discovered when I went to get the link just now that the second pose is supposed to be for 10 minutes. Will fix that next time.

Art Group Thursday Art Group Thursday

We were just 3 this morning and the plan was to continue to draw the African sculpture. You can see my earlier attempt from last week and the time before here. Today I messed it up quite badly driving home the point that I need to spend time on drawing ellipses, cylinders etc. Also need more practice of drawing figures, hands and feet! 😀

Art Group Thursday Art Group Thursday

crossposted at 30dayartist

Theory : Illustration Friday

Pen & Ink

I’m a firm believer of the theory that copying from the Masters will help in learning to draw and paint better. I’m participating in the Jan/Feb Van Gogh MOM over at WetCanvas! This is a copy of Van Gogh’s pen & ink “A Portrait of the Postman Joseph Roulin”

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Check out many more interpretations on

Creative Drawing and Art Appreciation 3

Yesterdays CD & AA session was a discussion about using mechanical lines to draw. The orderliness, precision and the weight of such lines. We had a demo by Javed and then drawings of Juan Gris and Stuart Davis were shown and discussed. Both were influenced by Picasso and Cubism and expressed form in terms of line, plane and colour.

The exercise for the day was to make two drawings spontaneously using mechanical lines. We were to continue using black, wet medium – pen, ink, brush, markers etc. A third drawing was to be made using an office stapler as the take off point. I used a thick black marker for all three.

I am enjoying these sessions and the thrill of allowing myself to put whatever comes to mind on paper regardless of what it may mean. All this is a part of my subconscious mind and I am keen on learning to interpret them 😀
CD & AA CD & AACD & AA

Yakub

Yakub

Recently I asked an old friend to provide me with a reference for the photograph used in his profile. The photograph is stunning and I wanted to have a go at it. This is my first attempt. I plan to have another go drawing or painting it soon.

Pen & Ink, 4″ X 6″ in my pocket sized sketchbook on handmade paper.

Creative Drawing & Art Appreciation – 2

Hard at work

Todays lesson was about expressing emotions using line and then using spontaneity in making an “action” painting.

sorrow   rage
Spontaneity and action

Homework is to do more of these with a title for each piece and an analysis of what we see in the results.

We found the small coffee table restrictive and by the time the second exercise came around the chairs were deserted for the floor.