Archives for category: sketchbook

One of my favorite artists is wildlife painter Bob Kuhn (1920 – 2007). Kuhn was a master of composition as well as a great draftsman. I especially admire his dynamic drawings.

BK_AIB2While I do like drawing animals, I have no great ambition to become a wildlife artist myself. When I study artists like Kuhn, I focus on aspects of their work that I want to  improve in my own paintings. For me, good composition is always a big challenge. To study composition, I like to make little master studies in my sketchbook to study the compositional style of artists that I like. I did these Bob Kuhn studies in my gouache sketchbook:

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IMG_8118All of these studies are about 2 by 2.5 inches. I try to keep them as simple as possible and focus only on the big shapes. The point isn’t to make a perfect copy of a painting in miniature, but to understand how the pieces of the painting fit together to make a harmonious picture.

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These are a lot of fun to do! Little studies like this are a great way to warm up for a day of painting at the easel.

There is a Bob Kuhn exhibit coming up next month at the Tucson Museum of Art. I’m hoping to be able to go check it out before it ends in February. I can’t wait to see some of these paintings in person!

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Another Friday, another life drawing session at the Watts Atelier. This week, I again decided to make a sketchbook drawing with ball point pen, white gel pen and marker. I had fun with this one:

This was the last friday night workshop for the current semester at Watts. I’ll have three weeks off of classes, during which I’m planning on doing a lot more painting. I have a few projects that I will hopefully be posting about soon. More on that later!

While I lived in New York, I often attended life drawing sessions at Spring Studio in SoHo.┬áI usually just brought a sketchbook and a ballpoint pen rather than drag my 18″ by 24″ drawing board two miles from my apartment. drawing in ballpoint pen takes a different discipline than drawing in charcoal, which is obviously much more forgiving. I actually find that I much prefer these small, relatively quick efforts over my charcoal drawings.

I haven’t done a life drawing in my sketchbook for quite awhile, so I decided to change up my friday night life drawing routine and bring my sketchbook to draw in rather than the usual newsprint pad and charcoal pencils. Here is my drawing, which I worked on for about an hour and a half.

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Here are just a few sketchbook studies after Alphonse Mucha. I used ballpoint pen, marker and color pencil for these.