More Progress

I was thinking I’d stay up as late as possible and slave away.  Bugger that.  I deserve to enjoy some of my time off work.  Time for gin while I watch my stories.




Here’s how I’m doing


Turns out drawing metallic surfaces is all about warm grey vs. cool grey. Huh. Trying to bully myself into continuing right now (time’s tickin’, competition entry, etc) or carrying out life admin tasks. There’s a whole lot of certifying and applying and ID compiling going on at the moment. I feel a little bit like one of those tribespeople who refuse photographs because every one steals a bit of their soul.


Think again

Hi.  I read the fine print for the local competition I’m entering and had to shelve the Rodin study because it’s too big.  Not bigger than 110cm on the longest side including frame, it says.  The competition is run by hardarses too.  Last year they wouldn’t let me (and two others) enter when I turned up 20 minutes late, having followed their online accidental misinformation rather than what it said on the actual form, and they were downright rude about it too.  I can’t imagine what they’d do if I turned up with something too big.  Send me home wearing the frame, perhaps.

So I’ll get back to that idea eventually.  I personally think that the background I painted last week is too elaborate and too much the wrong colour to work with my current ideas.  Then I started having new ideas, and then I realised these were naff.  So.

I’m working one one of my other ideas that’s been cooking away, to enter in the Still Life section.

I took this photo in the Chinatown Mall in Brisbane.  I love the reflections and the light.


It also presents some new challenges for me personally.  I haven’t drawn a shiny metallic surface before, and I haven’t drawn reflected light.  This could be interesting.  I’ll try and get most of the swearing out of the way before you lot see it.


Here’s what I’ve got so far:


Metallic detail, which I’m very happy with so far:


Nudey drawing night.

You’re probably going to get posts about my art classes for a while.  It’s been a long time since I was able to go and rediscovering it all is exciting to me.  Sorry about that.  I think it’s seeing how the skills I’ve picked up in the six months without attending classes apply themselves so easily to drawing from life.  That slightly manic obsession about getting precision when drawing hands seems to have made me better at getting definite line down on paper quickly.  Like this –


These were the very quick sketches, and from them you can tell exactly what this lady looks like.  It used to be that my quick sketches would look a lot more fragmented than this, like I’d been drawing a few different people.



Same again


And again.

(Stick with me.  This is the one semi-intellectual thing that I’ve told myself I have to achieve today, before I go and soak my aching body in a hot bath.  It’s been a big week at work and I’m pitying myself a bit for being home on a Saturday night.  This is one step short of writing stream of consciousness frustration in my actual paper journal and, frankly, the trees don’t deserve my abuse.)

Anyway, after all of that we returned to my more accustomed stomping grounds: portraits (old nemesis!) and blue conte crayons (totally my bros):


Not too bad.  I think her hair is too small for her face.  Something’s not quite right.  But that’s alright, because then finally we have the hero of the night that left me sweaty and shaking after my victorious completion:


Apart from the extraneous crease around her lighter nostril, perfect.  Chariots of Fire, everyone (not really).

Next week it’s apparently going to be portraits.  As you can see, up my alley.  I suspect I’ll be paying to sit around and draw my fellow classmates.  Let’s hope it’s not just me attending. 

Anyway.  This was virtuous enough that I can use the Turkish Rose bath salts intstead of the Japanese Detox.  Who on earth detoxes on a Saturday night?  Losers and hippies, that’s who.  Don’t the hippies have fire to twirl?

Dr Sketchys, February Edition

While the iron is hot(ish)

If you’re an art person (or graphic design person, or casually scribbling person, or a person person) in Brisbane, one of the highlights on the calendar is going to the Glass Bar on Brunswick Street, Fortiude Valley on the first Tuesday of every month to attend the local chapter of Dr Sketchy’s Anti-Art School.  Basically, you go to the Glass Bar, you have some booze, have a chat and draw beautiful burlesque performers in their costumes.

What, you were going to sit at home and watch NCIS reruns?  Come on, you know Ziva is going to kick butt and that you’re going to spend half the episode perving on Agent Gibbs, even though you know that you can never be his, alas, because your hair is not red and he is fictional.  Far better off mourning your loss in good company.  Like at the Glass Bar, for example.

This month’s model was the very lovely Jacqueline Furey:


(Photo borrowed from Tara Ormsby)

The main thing I wanted to achieve this time was to capture acurate likenesses of the models (Jacqueline was assisted by several ladies from the Scoundrelles Burlesque Academy too, btw).  I gave up ages ago being able to do things like add colour or tone and texture in the time available, especially considering I’ve been out of the habit of attending regular classes for months.  (Bless my poorly concealed inner perfectionist.  Not.)

I don’t think I did too badly.


The lady in the middle I drew with my opposite hand to normal, even.  Not bad.  I got the shakes afterwards though.  Shh.



I don’t know why girlfriend looks so sad either, but I like it.

And finally….


Dr Sketchys Night

Is tonight!  Yeah!

Basically, you go to a pub and draw burlesque dancers in their costumes.  They’re held all over the world.

Here’s last month’s sketches.  I tried posting at the time, but it got eaten (due to a Battlestar Gallactica binge on my part….) and it just wasn’t relevant again until now, when I’m waiting for a layer to dry on my Rodin study.

I hadn’t been for about six months at that point.  Was horribly exciting.  Even more so because the model was the lovely lady in my header, Bella de Jac.  Also, I clearly wasn’t in mid-season form.  Never mind.


Assisted by subs Vivian Mae and Jacqueline FureyImage

Here Bella looks like a person, just not Bella.  Sigh.


And my favourite of the night, Jacqueline Furey on a leash held by Bella:


I think I got her face just right


Um. Hi.

Long time, no chat.  Working on that study of Rodin’s “The Cathedral” is kind of kicking my butt harder than I thought.  Plus there was a flood.

Image(Spoilers:  You can’t normally see water.)

Rather put paid to my plans for placidly drawing away last week.  Almost everybody is fine, don’t worry.  Just last time almost everybody wasn’t, and wasn’t for a long time.  I’d have felt a bit of a Nero, drawing away while the rest of the town gets flooded.

Anyway, what I *have* got was first going to make me have a cry.  Ie:


And this is the third version.  The other two looked like someone had vomited alcopops onto my sketch book.

So I sat down and had some stern words to myself, changed my medium (now using Inktense pencils and a Japanese calligraphy brush) and I’ve gotten this far:


Getting warmer.  Eventually it will be huge, with a background, texture and blocks of colour.  I’m planning on getting at least as far as another large draft over the next day or so, with experiments with texture to see whether my imagination is accommodated by the materials.

I haven’t planned a piece of art work in such depth since I was back in school.  Interesting, this having a process.