The Flutist

I redid a portion of yesterday’s sketch. I wanted to try again to capture the flute player’s intensity. She is still calm and centered, but her head is bent more into her flute and, her brow shows more emotion. Additionally, I tried to get the paint to support the deep feeling I saw in her by making the paint strokes shorter and jazzier. Finally, I added swirls in the background to suggest music and rhythm.

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A Jazz Trio

Saturday evening we went to hear a jazz trio present their new CD. I had my sketchbook and chalk pencils in my purse and drew a bit in the dark of the performance. Today I added gouache paint to the drawings.

The group goes way back to the ’80s, and their cohesiveness showed throughout the evening. However, I thought they also approached their music individually and wanted to convey both their commonalities and differences in this sketch. I thought the flutist was calm and centered and that her music came from deep within her. The guitarist seemed moved by the meaning of the lyrics he sang as well as by the music of the others. Finally, the percussionist exuded his enthusiasm for the music with every bit of sound they made. Altogether, it made for an intriguing dynamic, and I would love the chance to sketch them at length.

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The Research Paper

Several months ago, I sketched a figure that I liked quite a bit. However, it had an unfinished look. It was a figure in need of a background.

I finally decided that since this particular model has a thoughtful demeanor, that I should place her in a setting such as a library or a dorm room. My kitchen table, along with a computer, book, and pad, gave me enough to work with. As I worked it brought back memories of writing papers for school, hence the title.

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In a Hard Place

After a long holiday with lots of excitement and guests, it felt good today to go to the watercolor gallery and paint for a morning. My plan for the year is to use these practice sessions to become more confident with technique. For now, I want to do more painting without pencil lines and to make expressive marks with a single sweep of my brush. This sketch was my most successful this morning, perhaps because I left quite a bit of the black paper unpainted.

So much of live painting depends on how the model shows her mood through her body language. I thought that the model today seemed to be in a hard place emotionally and that it showed in this particular pose in the way she held her head with her hand, which in turn was supported by her arm and knee. The oversized hand was a happy accident, and it seems to signify to me that she has the strength to move beyond present problems.

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Happy Holidays to Everyone!

Wishing you and yours the very best as we go forward into 2020!

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Windansea Surfers

Yesterday at Windansea Beach I did several quick sketches of the surfers and the sea. My goal was to quickly show the colors and movement of the surfers and sea.

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Oh that Wind and Sea!

Sometimes place names are particularly descriptive. Windansea Beach, along the coast of San Diego, is one of those places. When you are there and ready to paint, it is clear what your painting needs to be about.

The blues of the sea and sky were set off by the yellows of the rocks and sand, and I wanted to capture all of it. I started by focusing on the geometric shapes in the sky, sea, and rocks, but after a photographer came and sat on the cliffs, I put her in it. This shifted the focus, but it still works for me.

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