A single red boot

Watercolor of a red boot

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Suggestions of a fine summer day

Here’s a scene from the deck of our little house in Cherry Grove. I had it in mind that I’d start with some color then go in and add structure with pen, but I quite liked how serene and unfettered this looked so decided to leave it as mere suggestions of the pool and flower pots.

1 week : 100 people [day two]

I’m behind where I ought to be; only 23 people after two days. Yesterday I slowed down, took my time. As I did, I wanted it to be about quality over quantity— yet the challenge itself is all about quantity!

I will endeavor to catch up, and in the meantime hone my skills; try to get faster without sacrificing quality. Most of day two were from photographic references, by the way.

Black ink bleeds into paint; makes the colors more tertiary

I tried a different approach for this first one— paint first, ask questions later. But when later arrived I decided not to go back in with ink at all; I rather like the floaty quality of it, so left it as is.

Above is one I drew earlier in the week out at the beach— the abandoned buildings at the end where Riis turns into the Rockaways. I painted it a few days later, and here, too, a new approach— a desire to be less literal about my use of color, or at least my placement of it. I like how the bleed of the G2 pen worked with the color.

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These are people observed at bars over several weeks

More from the sketchbook with the paper I’m not keen to work on. The book is finished (enough). Here are the last few that were decent enough to post (even if marginally). Some work with a brush pen here, but those things require a light touch, so I need to work on that.

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These are people riding the A, D, and F trains

I only posted photographs while I was on vacation, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been sketching. I’ve been really trying to finish up this sketchbook, which has crap paper so I can get back to a Moleskine, haha.

Anyway, some of these needed some color; some needed tightening up. I just haven’t had time to assess and scan. Here are a few done over the past few days on various trains between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Unfortunately, I seem to have a knack for picking the people who are likely to get off the train at the next stop, leaving me very little time to observe!

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In dimly lit spaces I feel like Matisse


Here’s a couple of drawings from last week.

Did you know that Matisse was going blind toward the end of his career, and resorted to cut paper instead of paint, so he could feel the shapes? I sometimes feel I can relate to him, in a small way— mainly in dim lighting. It’s an upsetting thing for a visual artist, to begin to lose the erstwhile sharpness, the detail. To have to rely upon lights and optical assistance to be able to even approach what your eyes have seen always, for decades.

It’s stressful, and somehow still surprising to me. I do see well in bright light with contacts. And fine in dim light, with glasses. It’s not a surprise, then, that I often rely on my accumulated inner library of gestures, angles, and details.