New sketches

As always in these art posts, clicking the images will take you to larger-size versions withย  more description. To see all these pictures together (and five others from the figure studio), visit flickr.

My life-drawing practice is making me better/faster at capturing people. Over the weekend we went to San Diego, and I made these quick sketches on the train on the way back — meaning, when I was tired and conditions were not ideal.

Train sketches of girl and guy with bike

BART sketches, 7/25/11

Now that I paint more frequently than I draw, I feel very limited when I don’t have any colors at hand. About a month ago it occurred to me to start carrying colored pencils along with my regular graphites, but I never had a chance to use them until this train ride.

Quick portrait of a woman reading

BART portrait, 7/25/11

The term at the Richmond Art Center is coming to an end — next week is the last session — but the figure studio will resume with a few more sessions in September. Last night’s model, Prudence, was one of the first I drew when I started at the RAC in 2009, and it was fun to see her again.

Several two-minute gesture poses

Two-minute gestures

Many of you have mentioned that you enjoy looking at the two-minute gesture sketches. Prudence’s were a treat.

More two-minute gesture sketches

More gestures

In looking over what I produced yesterday, I think it all looks good, strong and bold. It’s surprising because I felt like I was having a real off-day: I came in tired, I felt distracted the whole time, it seemed to me I wasn’t “feeling it” for the entire three hours. But the work doesn’t reflect that (at least I don’t think so). Which just goes to show that, as usual, off-days are all in my head.

Watercolor sketch of standing nude woman

Seven-minute pose

Watercolor of nude woman seated cross-legged

Pink pool (20 minutes)

Or maybe it’s that my weariness made me less fanatical about small details? I applied the paint heavier, thicker, and more opaque than usual. My strokes were more sweeping and I made the sketches bigger — this one below goes from top to bottom of the paper.

Watercolor of standing nude woman from behind

Column (20 minutes)

It is very weird to think that my lack of energy can translate into paintings that come across as more energetic. Compare last night’s paintings to the ones from last week, when I felt “on.” Very peculiar.