Sunday, January 31, 2010

Full Tonal Charcoal Study

Here is the charcoal study we have been working on for a total of 24 hours spread out over four days. This is our first full tonal range study. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. When you start out you start the same way as all the other studies. First you get the lights and darks, then move to three tones, then five tones, and, once you have everything working, full tonal. It would be nearly impossible if we just jumped in and worked a full tonal range from the start. There is a lot going on in this composition. The instructor sets these up to achieve the purpose of the study rather than for pleasing effects. I think what always surprises me is just how dark you have to make the white objects. The paper we use is Canson's Mi Tientes in cream. The paper is not white but cream colored.
I must say I enjoyed working on this one quite a bit. I am still getting the hang of working in charcoal though. It has its challenges.
On the home front, I am still unpacking and putting away. I have way too much stuff. Way to much! I have decided that I need to sell at least half of it. I know more now where my focus will be, not only in art but in fiber art. I will be selling off fiber and equipment and using the proceeds to buy a good easel. I will post the nicer items for sell on this blog, on my weaving blog, and also on Craigslist and Ebay. What I don't sell online, I hope to sell in a fiber art yard sale held locally.
Some of the items that I will be posting for sale as soon as I get settled in and figure out prices and shipping: a Fricke petite drum carder, a Louet vertical warping mill (quite large) a large two harness tapestry rug loom (about 48-50" wide), silk bricks, exotic fibers, silk fabrics, etc.
I will also be selling all my Handwoven, Spin-Off, and Threads magazines.
I purged quite a bit before we moved from Washington but not nearly enough! We want to be considerably lighter for the move to Portland in the fall.
I will be keeping all the weavers and fiber artists out there posted!
Hope to have a few items up next week. -Renee

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Give You...David's Right Eye

This past week we have been working on our charcoal still life but it is going to be a longer session. We will be working on it at least one more school day and will be using more than 5 tones. So, until that is finished, I have a construction drawing to show. As I mentioned last week, we are moving into more organic forms, such as the human face. This is a cast drawing. The cast is a replica of Michelangelo's David. Specifically, David's right eye. This is yet another new way of thinking for us students. In the construction drawing, we are looking for the planes in an organic form. I can understand it intellectually, but finding and drawing them is twisting my mind. As usual when confronted with a perplexing task, I trust that it will become clear in time.  This particular drawing has a few of the lines around the brow area drawn by the instructor. Sometimes seeing is believing, or at least understanding. I am looking forward to that wonderful "Ah Ha!" moment when it all makes sense. It is always magical when that happens.
On the home front, we spent our first night in the rental house last night. Everything is in bins and finding things is a bit challenging in spite of inventory lists. The house has been badly treated in the past and there is a lot more damage than was apparent when we looked at it. Cleaning-wise too. So, we have been busy cleaning and slowly unpacking. It will be a week or two but I will have my own room to draw, paint, and weave in!
I should have a new charcoal study to show next weekend. Off to do a bit more unpacking! -Renee

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Charcoal Studies Continued

I am a bit late with this post. We signed a rental agreement on Saturday and have spent the weekend scrubbing down the house and moving our stuff in. We aren't all the way in yet but hope to be by next weekend. The house has a lot of potential but has been sadly neglected and there is a lot of damage I have had to catalog and take pictures of.
So, this week we are working on a longer charcoal study with full range of tones. This drawing is from last week. It is a simple set up but was a bit tricky to draw. The pine cone took a lot of time. The handle on the jug is just a little too straight up and down but overall I am pleased. You can see the 5-tonal reference I drew in on the lower right corner. Every shape on the page has to match one of those tones.
We also had a change in our construction drawing session. We are moving on to organic forms. We had a cast of a face section to draw. I will try to get another post in or put it on the regular post to show it. Don't get your expectations up too high. It doesn't look like much!
This post is a bit short as we are still working on the house. I will be up to full speed again soon. Having the house will allow me to spend more time drawing on my own. I should see improvement with more time under my belt!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Back to Work- Term 2

My second term of school started up this past week. It was good to be back and challenging to get my mind back into focus! This was another 12 hour charcoal drawing in five tones. This time I have to say the drawing looks better in real life than in the photo. We were told that this term we will not only be adding more tones but will be going to full (18"X24") sheets of paper. That will use a lot of charcoal! I believe the second year students calculated the cost of each full size drawing in charcoal alone to be about 12-15 dollars. We will also be starting to draw more organic forms such as hands, ears, mouths, and bits of the plaster casts that line the  walls. I am looking forward to that. Friday for construction drawing we drew a large toy truck. By the end of the day I really wanted to kick it across the room. It looks so simple but is anything but simple to draw. I think that was part of the point. As always, I enjoyed the gesture drawing in the morning. These really don't look like much on paper, otherwise I would post them too, but are incredibly important to work on none the less.
On the home front, we are looking for a house to rent. We will need to transition and get things squared away before moving to Portland next fall. I also need the room to draw. Renting a house will have some drawbacks but many benefits. I won't be unpacking my big loom until we are settled in Portland but it will be a lot easier to leave my Jane and my spinning wheel out! Perhaps I will be able to get my weaving blog out of mothballs. Once the weather turned cold it was very difficult to get the loom and wheel out to play with. Our dog will hopefully have a proper yard to hang out in when we are not walking with her or playing at the dog park. Finally, I hope to be closer to school too.
We will be selling our trailer for many reasons. It has worked out beautifully for us but it isn't a long term solution. It won't work for us in Portland either. Eventually we hope to get something we can just travel in from time to time.
I will be posting every week this term like last term so it should be fun to see the journey.
Happy New Year everyone!
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