Saturday, January 18, 2014

Figuring It Out

Term 3 begins!! The winter here has been great so far, not as chilly as I though it would be.  I can still sketch outdoors with a breeze. :) Since this post is not going to be about whether the weather's withering, let's get straight down to where the puns stop. 

Some people have asked me how I get my figures looking so proportional within seconds in my urban sketches (as seen in the sketch below of Piazza Republica, Firenze). To that I reply that I try to keep drawing all the time. It's a combination of sketching, observing, analyzing and more sketching.  Whether I'm in the subway, in a busy Piazza or in the studio doing long studies, these are platforms which allow me to practice (and sharpen) my craft. And for me, neither one platform is superior to the other. All these different ways I document the human anatomy builds on each other and will get better over time.  Looking at the equation from another point of view, one can say that it's kinda like for every one urban sketch I do, I probably worked like 50 subway sketches. Or for every one 45 hour study pose I do, behind that was at least 150 super short poses.  If math is not your cup of tea, in a gist, what I am saying is that I don't just whip out a drawing from thin air. 

I'm still figuring out and studying the human anatomy as I go along. It's laborious, but I love it thoroughly.  For those who are interested in books on anatomy, one just arrived today. It's called 'How to Draw and Paint Anatomy - the complete guide' by ImagineFX. 

Piazza Republica, Firenze
Ink, A3

Short 5 min poses
China Marker, 25cm in height

Quick sketches from the Paris Metro
ink, sketchbook

3 hr study
Oil, 30cm

12 hr study
Graphite, 30cm

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If you are interested in getting my sketchbook of short poses, Figuring Out - the long and short of it, the link is right here:

Friday, January 3, 2014

Urban Sketching in Paris (part 2)

Contrary to popular belief, in my short stay 18-day stay in Paris, I have found the locals to be very friendly and helpful. "It's probably because it's Christmas," a resident friend and a former resident commented. Either that or I must have been looking very distraught. Each time I uttered an "Où sont les toilettes?, most of the time, they'd reply in English or go to some extent in showing me where it is. They were really friendly to me! :)

I decided to stay in Paris for another week just because there's so much to check out. And I didn't want to rush through seeing what I needed to see. I have found the art in the Louvre and 'Orsay simply inspiring! I've even went back to the Louvre again just to do studies from the sculptures. The fact that there were many artists drawing away in the museum created the flow of energy for me to draw. 

Why are there so many beautiful art in Paris? Well, after the Renaissance movement began, by the 1700s, the French came to Florence to learn the craft of the Italian masters. And after that, they brought it back to France for it to grow. And it did… not just grow but flourish! This is where your Bouguereau and Ingres come from.  

I was glad to have met Urban Sketchers Paris. The locations I met them were at Notre-Dame du Paris, the Jacquesmart André Musée and Le Musée des Arts Forains. There were many things to sketch outdoors, but I was not ready for the weather… the winds especially. In fact, I still don't think I have the right winter gear. So much for growing up in the tropics all my life… haha. Until I get warmer clothing, it's gonna be indoor sketching for now. 

A fruitful new year to you! :)

This is my first visit to the Natural Museum of Natural History. Take me to a place where I can draw dinosaur bones anytime!

Sacré Cœur is on the top of Montmartre. The beautiful church celebrates 125 years in Paris. It was a lovely day and I had to capture it. I was down for another outdoor sketch. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr…

Met the urban sketchers of Paris at the Jaquemart-André museum where Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema's works are for a temporary show. Always amazing for me to be able to be up close to original paintings. Brrrrrr...

I decided to try an indoor sketch. A pastry shop caught my attention. Situated near the Effiel Tower, I was attracted by the warmth and cosy feeling of Le Moulin de la Vierge, Paris.

Some pencil feet studies from the statuettes in the French collection, Louvre.