Archives for the month of: July, 2013

(This is going to be another three-parter)

Part 1:
Monday morning, the 29th, I was meeting Gwen, Phil and Maya in front of KABOOZ at 9:30. They are from North Carolina. Maya is nine, this is her first time in NYC and we – includes Shirley, Teri, Benedicte and I – are, time permitting, going where she wants. This morning it was the American Museum of Natural History. After lunch the garment district but Teri is going back to work and Benedicte, Shirley and I are going elsewhere.

Since I was early I sat down in the Penn Station waiting room with the intention of reading a book that is living in the iTouch. I didn’t feel like drawing and fully expected that would be my theme for the day.

Before I realized it I found myself sketching the negative space around the two people opposite me.

Negative space turned out to be my theme in actuality and I sketched all day, everywhere exclusively on the tiny device

I headed up to the meeting place but where are they? I usually see them waiting for me

This guy worked at Hudson Books, near KABOOZ, and his job was to stand outside and guard the magazines.

And then, here they come, needing a big New York pretzel.

iPod Touch, Sketch Club app, New Trent Arcadia stylus

Part One is the appetizer.
Bookends brackets it all – like maybe the reservation and then the check?
Part Two is the main course.

I guess the following are the crumbs.

Part Three.

The circle of benches were mostly empty when we arrived at (in?) South Cove. We spotted Judy off in another area busy with something (seems she was painting patterns) so we claimed a bench. Figure al Fresco wouldn’t start for another 30 minutes so I started sketching the other “waiters” using iPat .

Judy joined us and sat on the other side of Shirley (ha! Shirley has bookends.). They chatted away and I spotted another victim.

I took out the iPod Touch and drew the lady with the cap. That is a book she’s holding but I forgot to fix it and give it color. Oh well. And yes. I know about all the other stuff. In my defense: second drawing from life on the little device. AND. I was surrounded by Very Big Trees. Still, I do enjoy the wonk factor.

Slight interruption:

Before we reached South Cove and I did all these “waiting” sketches,
Shirley was chased by a TURKEY.
In Manhattan.

At 4:30 I said toodle-loo to everyone and caught the M20 uptown bus.
Almost missed my stop.
Care to guess why?

As per my new, Very Fantastic Habit, I got off the bus at 14th Street, walked west a couple of blocks, climbed the stairs, and walked along the High Line until I reached the stairway at 30th.

Process (for those interested):
Backgrounds: I did a lot of drawings that day. There is a teeny tiny notebook that lives next to The Recliner Studio Annex. Wrote down a list and a few ideas and this and that. Later on I took a sloppy bad careless photo of the page, using iPat, as it rested on a pillow in my lap as I rested in The Recliner Studio Annex (I was totally pooped and wasted) under a stinking 75 watt bulb ’cause you can’t get 100w anymore. The pic was imported into ArtRage and altered with the fill tool (as described in Part Two) and in this case some strategic erasure took place.
Then the images were imported from their respective drawing apps.

iPad, Finngr Pro, ArtRage (background)
iPod Touch, Sketch Club app, ArtRage background (in this case it was a photo of the receipt from the sweet I bought when arriving in Battery Park that was altered).
New Trent Arcadia stylus

(Last Wednesday, July 24, started here, in Part One, there is more in Bookends.)

Part Two.

After saying “see ya” to the others, Shirley and I rode downtown to the Wall Street stop on the subway. We picked up something sweet and walked to Wagner Park and then back up along the Hudson River until we reached South Cove and the location of “Figure al Fresco” in Battery Park.

As per usual there were 10 one minute and 5 two minute poses and this is when I use newsprint and pencil. The drawing below was the only one I liked – it came easily and seems a bit abstract. Later, at home, I decided to work on it using the iPad. (see below if you are interested in the process).

The five minute poses were about to start now. I returned the newsprint pad and pencil, folded up my drawings and stuffed them in my bag. All further sketches were done using iPat.

One of the other artists brought her iPad with her and we had a quick beginning lesson using Sketch Club.

There was usually a brief pause between the poses so I used this opportunity to paint in the colors of her dress. For the first time these actually are what the model had on. Not one speck of beige or baby blue. Of course, there was an intricate pattern in all these color splotches (ahem, which were really circles, oh well) but there was no time or inclination to fuss about it.

She was nice and soft and rounded and so so so comfortable with herself.
Best model so far.

The weather was glorious, a bit windy but I had no fluttering pages to worry about.

Part Three coming.

Process, later at home (sometimes I’m asked):

#1. I took a quick photo of the wrinkled newsprint, pencil-sketch with iPat, imported it into ArtRage, traced the figure with the pencil tool, imported this tracing into Sketch Club via camera roll, added the colors, and sent it back to ArtRage for the background.

Background : i took iPat photos of all the drawings on the newsprint, making sure to get the paper folds and shadows under bad light. I imported, into ArtRage, a different background for each sketch above. Used the fill tool and white until I was happy. Then I imported the life drawing from Sketch Club, did some pencil tool (now named Kate’s Pencil) stuff, added a textured canvas and declared them done.

Sketch Club, ArtRage apps, New Trent Arcadia stylus

Last Wednesday, the 24th, started on the 7:18am train to NYC. I was sitting behind some seats that faced in my direction. A fellow sat there such that he could be seen perfectly through the seat gap. Since he was engrossed in a very large tome I took advantage of the situation. This was drawn on the tiny iTouch screen – first time I sketched from life on it – and had some difficulty adjusting to the size. I will get better with practice. The background was tarted up later at home along with some minor tweaking.

After a cup of coffee in Penn Station Part One starts, followed by
Part Two.
Be patient.

Next Part Three will appear.
Don’t get too excited. Might be anticlimactic.

I made my way back to the train station with just enough time to hit the Ladies. Phew.
Then, sufficiently worn out, I caught the 6:01 express.

But, you see, I still had some drawing oomph left and a good view of a lady with a red bag.

#1 iPod Touch, sketch Club app.
#2 iPad, Finngr Pro app
Both had backgrounds added using casual careless iPat photos of relevant notebook pages which were then fiddled with in ArtRage app.
New Trent Arcadia stylus

I completed my modified circuit (1.3 mi) of the main level and took the escalator up. As I approached the food court on my first circuit I noticed there was a very nicely placed table with a good view of the carousel.

“Ok”, I proposed to myself, “if it is still empty on my second circuit I will stop and sketch it.”.

“You’ve got a deal”, I responded. “In the meantime pick up the pace a bit”.

Now, there is this guy in a pink and gray (heathery colors) long sleeved pullover horizontal striped shirt and a white baseball cap, that I’ve noticed the past two mornings. He walks the same path but criss-crosses and circles around anything that stands alone. For every 10 steps I walk he does 25,000.

An Aside:
If anyone really cares Part Two will probably show up on Monday. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, well, Shame On You!

iPad, Sketch Club app, New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Diagram was done on iTouch with Mental Note app.

Part One:
The other day, Wednesday the 24th, I joined Shirley, Benedicte, Teri and Liam at the Society of Illustrators to view the Maurice Sendak exhibition.

I found a few things I thought I might be able to copy.

There were literally only a few other people in the gallery. One lady asked me about the app I was using. Turns out she is a quilter so I pointed out Shirley and told her about Benedicte being famous and all that. Sketching on the iPad starts conversations or maybe it could be that I was planted smack dab in front of one of the illustrations. Nah. I’m considerate. When I sense someone coming near I unblock their view.

Shirley sketched a lot of figures and details. Benedicte took notes and “drew dogs, a plane, a bird and two moons making faces, one of them with horns sticking its tongue out”. Teri and Liam stuck together, carefully studied and discussed the illustrations.

The drawing below, truth be told (and I ALWAYS tell you all the truth), was the first sketch I attempted to copy while in the gallery but I abandoned it and went on to copy the first one above. I buried this sketch in the bottom layer and told Benedicte that “I haven’t any Mojo yet” or something about my mojo along those lines. I didn’t make any color notes and I can’t remember what animal Rosie was straddling. I didn’t note what was on the card next to the illustration. Sigh. Very Observant Artist is my middle name. I had to email Shirley and Benedicte for info on who the girl was. I don’t remember (observant me) her having a boa but it seems this is part of her trademark outfit so I added it.

Anyway. When I was tweaking the other drawing (Oliver and his horn) I looked at the abandoned sketch living underneath, decided it wasn’t so very terrible and decided to resurrect it my way. That means any resemblance to the original is only the line drawing. You don’t mind, right?

Then we had a loud, chaotic lunch in a Very Very Friendly and Efficient diner/coffee shop on Lexington a block away from the Society.

Afterwards, Benedicte headed off to the nearby Frick and Teri/Liam jumped in a cab and whizzed off.

Shirley and I had our own plans but you all will have to wait for Part Two. I probably can even stretch it out into a Part Three also. Hmm. I’ll have to think about that.

Sketch Club app, New Trent Arcadia stylus. Sketches and color were done in the gallery but tweaking things went on at home. Everything was too “same value” and needed perking up at leisure.

I felt shy while I was drawing this one. I don’t know why, there was no one nearby.
All the tables were perpendicular to the food place so I was basically looking sideways and then drawing what I remembered and then looking again. Miscellaneous bits and pieces that caught my eye. The cashier really did have a halo of big fluffy hair.

I was just happy to be drawing. It is such a cheap, safe high.

Sketch Club app, New Trent Arcadia stylus.

If I wound them up
they would
tick and tock


The drawing is super duper sort of accurate (I left out the dust), the colors – not so accurate. But are they ever?

Sketch Club and ArtRage apps, New Trent Arcadia stylus.

This was very early on Saturday. By the time I sat down at an adjacent table she had lost the battle. Maybe she will be my regular early morning model?

And then on Monday morning. I bought myself a present.

I have no need for an iPhone because I pretty much never talk on the phone (or text) but for this, that and the other thing, I got it into my head that a red iPod Touch would fit the bill. Above is my first test drawing done on the little screen. I referred to a screen shot (on the iTouch) I took from one of the new Morse Masterpiece shows I was test watching on the device.

Sketch Club app, New Trent Arcadia stylus.

Sketch club app, New Trent Arcadia stylus.