Saturday, March 28, 2009

Another "Happening" at the Oakland Zoo


This week for Animal Life Drawing we made another trip to Oakland Zoo. The weather was amazing and the animals were out and about!

I spent most of my time working on the elephants and the giraffes. I found from my last week at San Francisco Zoo, that my sketchbook seems to improve if I concentrate on one particular animal for an extended amount of time, instead of trying to draw all of the animals that are out there. The elephants were pretty active, pacing around their exhibit and playing with their branches and other tidbits.

The second part of class I visited the giraffes. This was a lot of fun. The giraffes always seem to be hamming it up--like they know we're drawing them. They look at us with their huge eyes and bat their eyelashes at us as if to say, "Yes, I know I'm beautiful" The supermodels of the zoo, indeed.

I also tried a bit of watercolor this week as well, which proved to be a lot of fun. A great way to break up the day.



I did make a quick trip to the tiger, as well. Though he was pretty active today, and not into being a subject. When these cats get going, I love to just watch and observe. They are something else.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pastel Figure Drawing


In one of my classes we are learning advanced figure drawing... but there is a twist to it... we are using pastels. Had I known this before taking the class, I'm not sure if I would have taken it on! This is probably one of the hardest classes I've taken. The medium is really tricky and unlike anything I've ever worked with. But once I stop thinking too hard, it starts to become fun.

We spent a few weeks on head drawing alone.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Super Models!




After much searching and seeking, I luckily happened upon the most fabulous pair of girls that are willing to model for me!

I've been told by many instructors that finding models is the way to go. It saves time in the long run, and you can get the exact pose you need. I happened to pop into work when the most outgoing six-year old I think I have ever met was selling girl scout cookies. Being a former girl scout, I couldn't resist buying a box, and started talking with the Brownie, whose name is Lula. I also came to find that she had an older sister, 8 years old, the perfect age for Kelly in my Mattie books!!

After talking to their super-hip mom (former Manhattenite) she agreed to let me use her girls for my illustrations. Hazel works so well with Mattie, it is like fate. She really is a natural with my pooch. The two of them are establishing a great relationship.


Lula was a perfect fit for Alice in Wonderland. I have a great piece featuring Alice and the Cheshire Cat that will be used for my Animal Life Drawing class, and also for my portfolio. She was a laugh riot to shoot! Lula was obviously a natural actress, and as we began to take photos, she continued to think of many things that Alice should be doing! She was great.


I'm so lucky to have found these girls! They are such a joy to be around, full of life and fun. I am always smiling after every shoot I schedule with them. Look at these faces! Wouldn't you??

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Trip to Monterey Aquarium


This week in Animal Life Drawing class, we had a bit of an adventure. Joe took us down to the Monterey Aquarium. I haven't been to an Aquarium since I was a kid, and it was hard to sit down and draw... the sea creatures were all so great to look at and explore...
























I had a hard time deciding what was my favorite part. I spent quite a long time at the Penguin tank.. they are so great and full of life. A bit easier to draw than a lot of the fish who move so quickly. They did move quite a bit as well... but they were tons of fun to study.





I also had a good time at the deep sea tank... I loved studying the several types of shark (including the Hammerhead!) and the stingrays were pretty amazing as well.


My favorite room though, was the Jellyfish exhibit. I found these guys totally fascinating. I could have stared at their glowing tanks for hours, just watching them float around. Drawing them proved a bit difficult, because the room was practically pitch black in order to see their glowing bodies. Pretty cool stuff.


The biggest part of the adventure, however, was on the trip home...when our bus broke down about 20 minutes outside of San Francisco! Go Academy... spare no expense. Apparently, this was the second time this had happened in Joe's class. Makes me wonder if there is a conspiracy going on...? ;-)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Color Comps with Acrylic


So I've been playing with a new process that I think I'll use for my thesis. I've been using matte medium to glue down a copy of my original drawing, sealing it with clear gesso, and painting over it with acrylic paint. I've decided to abandon my watercolors for the time being for This process is much faster, and I like the deeper values I can get from it. Plus I can still use prismacolor on top of it, and work out my details.

I'm not abandoning my watercolors forever! I just like the look of this for my Mattie books... Plus I love that you can see my original drawing underneath.

This is a comp, and not a fully painted piece, but I'm pretty happy with the results.