Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Resisting the Call of the Couch, Red Wine and Netflix

I'm so glad I got back to our local drawing group last night. I haven't attended for a few months and have missed it. Sometimes after teaching on Tuesdays, the call of certain guilty pleasures is too great.
Amanda on Tuesday, 12x9, oil on panel, one hour sketch
It is always an adrenaline rush as we have only three 20 minute sessions with the model in one pose for the evening. These little sketches have to be completed in one hour.
5 minute gesture oil sketch, 6x8
We do several 2 minute gesture poses, then several 5 minute poses. I usually do the gesture poses with pencil but decided last night to start doing the 5 minutes poses with paint. I think that will help me slip into the paint sketching mode. There are so few lines in this that I'm surprised that it took 5 minutes, but I guess I did a lot of looking and not painting.

I like Ampersand gessobord and tone it with either burnt umber oil paint, Gamblin Fastematte or acrylic raw sienna depending on how early I prepare. The gesture sketch is on an un-stretched oil-primed linen that I will later mount on acid-free foam core.

I generally start the sketch with a line drawing, working directly with paint and move into a rub-out subtractive method of painting. I use a mixture thinned with a linseed oil/mineral spirits combo. Next I paint the shadow shapes and rub out the highlights with a T-Shirt scrap.

Next I move into color, working from the darks to the lights. I take my palette from home so I have some nice flesh tones pre-mixed from whatever is currently on the easel. That saves a lot of time for speed painting. There is never enough time so usually I try to focus on finishing one area, last night it was the area where the light was striking the model.

Our drawing group is called X's 8 (pronounced Times 8), it meets Tuesdays at Forstall Art Center in Birmingham, AL. 205 870-0480.


  1. The second one, the quick study of the back, reminds me of one of my favorite drawings by Rembrandt. It is so succinct and expressive!

  2. Thank you Shanna! That is a wonderful compliment. I think I'm going to like doing them, but will not be surprised if one out of three is postable. Very hit and miss.

  3. I wish I could do such good work so fast. What is the size of these two quickies?

  4. Hi Debra, Thank you. The color one is 12x9 and the gesture is 8x6. I'm sure you can do it, it just takes practice. It is pure adrenaline. And big fun. Do you have a life drawing group available to you?

  5. Great paints and great painter, thanks for sharing.



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